While many “non-essential” businesses have been closed for weeks on end, some states are starting to let certain businesses reopen as long as they follow new guidelines.

In Ohio, restaurants have been able to stay open for carry-out and delivery orders, but dining inside or outside the restaurants was not permitted due to the coronavirus pandemic; however, that’s about to change.

On May 15th, restaurants can allow diners to eat on outdoor patios, and on May 21st, diners can start eating inside restaurants; however, in order for restaurants to welcome diners back to their patios and dining rooms, they need to comply with certain guidelines.

What are these new guidelines? For starters, restaurants need to arrange seating to allow physical distancing. Something else that’s new is that if there’s a wait, instead of waiting inside the restaurant, diners may need to wait inside their cars, once again, because of physical distancing guidelines.

One restaurant in Canton, Ohio, has gotten pretty creative in order to comply with physical distancing guidelines. The owners of a breakfast cafe named Twisted Citrus rearranged the seating so that guests are seated back to back (the previous setup had guests sitting next to each other), and then they did something a little unusual – they installed plastic shower curtain liners between the tables.

Kim Shapiro, co-owner of Twisted Citrus, explained her shower-curtain idea to The Canton Repository.

“I came up with the idea of clear vinyl shower-curtain liners as dividers between tables. They’re suspended from the ceiling with hooks and drop down to where the back of a chair would be. We can spray (the curtains) down with Lysol and COVID cleaner spray.”

Although diners won’t be 6 feet apart, they will be physically separated by the curtains. The new seating arrangement reduces the maximum number of diners from 80 to 55, but the curtains allow them to accommodate more diners than they would be able to  accommodate without the shower curtains.

Shaprio wants diners to feel comfortable and safe while visiting Twisted Citrus. 

“We are catering to the people who are comfortable to come out to a restaurant with precautions. We’re trying to make our guests know that we’ve done something different and that we care.”

What do you think about the plastic shower curtain idea? Do you think more restaurants should put plastic shower curtains between tables before reopening? Would you feel safe eating at Twisted Citrus with the new setup?