Restaurants reopening with limited capacity, creativity

Restaurants are opening their doors in phase one, but not everything is back to normal. They can’t seat everyone at every table due to social distancing orders.

For the past 27 years, Shaker’s American Café has been a staple in Orlando's College Park -- famous for their unique salt and pepper shakers decorating the diner.  For nearly two months, dining in the restaurant was off limits, pushing them to survive with takeout and delivery.

“Our restaurant has been completely sanitized, so we’re just so excited to be open for the first time in seven weeks,” owner Greg Granda said.

Phase one reopening guidelines require restaurants to space indoor and outdoor seating at least six feet apart and limit capacity to 25 recent.Their dining room can seat 50 people, but now can only accommodate 12.

“I don’t know how you can make money on 25% of your business, but I guess that’s what you gotta do,” customer Alan Townsend said.

Some loyal diners came out to support the reopening, while also wearing face masks.

“People don’t jump from one lily pad to another until they know they’re safe,” customer Tim Mack said.

Employees at Shaker’s are working to keep everything extra clean to protect their customers.

“We’re sanitizing our menus,” Granda said. “We have the pens that our customers touch – we sanitize them. As soon as they use it we put it in another bin. We clean them, put them back. So we’re taking this serious.”

Adapting to changing times, while focusing on getting back to business.

“I think we just have to take our time,” customer Debbie Yandel said. “We have to be thoughtful about it. We have to think about others.”

“They’ll be back,” Mack said. “They will be back.”

Even if people are not ready to go back to sit down inside of a restaurant, there are still ways you can support local by ordering takeout or curbside delivery.