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There is a comfortable consistency that comes with dining out at popular chain restaurants. The neon lights, massive menus, and endless '80s playlist make them predictable, no matter where you're dining in the country.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appThen COVID-19 thrashed into our lives, upending our expectations of what our lives would be like and ruining our plans for margaritas and nachos with friends.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appNow in summer, states have steadily been opening back up and allowing dining rooms to reopen. In Iowa where I'm from, restaurants have been allowed to serve customers inside since May and there are no occupancy restrictions. That means it's up to local owners and companies to decide whether they want to pack people in or keep customers socially distanced.
Even though my state reopened weeks ago, I've hesitated to jump back into the restaurant scene, despite my infatuation with popcorn shrimp and smothered wings.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appWill I be safe eating inside? Should I wear a face mask? What are the bathrooms like?
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appBut I've also yearned for the return of dining out, sitting at a table and chatting with my friends.
In this new era of unpredictability, I decided to don a face mask and venture out into the world of dining circa COVID-19 at three of America's most recognizable chain restaurants.
Here's how my experiences went.
The website states that joining the waitlist leads to less "host interaction" and it encouraged customers to wait in their cars until a text message indicated their table was ready.
The noodles were slightly overcooked, giving it a softer texture versus the al dente bite I prefer. The shrimp were adequate size, but the scallops were about the size of my fingernail, leaving more to be desired for one of the more expensive dishes on the menu.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appWhile it felt odd seeing a chain I dined at since childhood change due to COVID-19, I also appreciated the extra effort to make diners feel more comfortable.
The creamy, garlic-flavored white sauce topped with the crispy, sweet chicken tenders is a delightful mix of flavors and textures. Imagine chicken and waffles, but in a 1,400-calorie dinner.
Around the beginning of the pandemic, Chili's locations that closed their dining rooms only generated 30-35% in revenue in comparison to 2019 sales, .
As businesses endure the economic impact of COVID-19, restaurants nationwide are estimated to lose $240 billion by the end of 2020,
After eating at three chain restaurants, I'll admit, it was eerie going to my childhood spots and seeing them transformed. After all, when was the last time Olive Garden changed its Tuscan-style decor? But I'm also appreciative of the precautions restaurant owners are taking and I'm starting to accept this will be my new normal if I want to go out and eat.
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