What to Expect When Dining Out

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Based on Guidelines Contained in the State's Restore Illinois Plan

Updated 6/24/2020 

The State’s Restore Illinois plan for Phase 3 allows for outdoor dining, with a move into Phase 4 on June 26. Your favorite restaurant may look a little different for the time being. These regulations apply for all restaurants in Illinois and are in place to protect the health and safety of both the customers and employees. 

Outdoor Dining

Indoor Seating Available June 26

Capacity for most restaurants will be significantly reduced, as tables must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other tables and other customer-interaction locations like counters or bars. Bar seating must also maintain a 6-foot minimum distance between parties. Standing room areas such as bars and waiting areas are limited to a maximum of 25% capacity.

Outdoor Seating

Tables will be a minimum of 6 feet apart. Some restaurants with large open air windows may have a few tables immediately adjacent to the open windows, as this qualifies as “outdoor”. Others may utilize areas within their parking lots to make their dining patios larger.

Limits on Group Size

Restaurants can offer seating to a party of 10 or fewer guests at time (Phase 4, active June 26). Until Phase 4, the maximum is 6. 

Customer Expectations & Behavior - Learn Before You Go 

  • Just like Phase 3 guidelines, in Phase 4 you should wear a face covering unless you are seated at your table eating/drinking; patrons should mask up while walking through dining areas, waiting areas, or in line to pay or use the restroom.
  • Restaurants have been encouraged to utilize call-ahead or reservation-only seating, as dining capacity is largely reduced. Others may offer a limited menu or reduced hours. Check websites or call ahead to be sure.
  • Your group may not be allowed to wait on the premises for a table as open congregation areas should be closed. You may be asked to queue off-site, or in your vehicle, to maintain physical distancing. Keep in mind that restaurants must also physically accommodate pick-up and delivery customers with 6-foot distancing mandates. 
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be taken off premises. Restaurants should not serve you a drink “while you wait” for a table off premise, as this is a violation of liquor license regulations. They can serve "to go" alcohol for take out orders per state executive order.
  • The restaurant may offer you a disposable menu or encourage the use of a digital menu via your smartphone, to avoid having to sanitize a menu before and after each guest.

Dining Experience 

  • Tables may be bare, as table tents and shared condiments like salt/pepper shakers should be removed. 
  • All shared food/beverage areas may reopen, but with modifications. This includes buffets, salad bars, and drink refill stations. Glasses should not be refilled - a new glass should be used for each refill for shared beverage stations. 
  • Some restaurants may use disposable dining ware (cups, forks, plates, napkins) or offer single-use condiments like ketchup packets. 
  • You may have to package your own take-home containers after dining. 

The Village and local restaurant community appreciate your support and patience, while we strive to provide a safe and comfortable environment to enjoy dining out once again. 

Looking for a place to dine outside? Check out the Al Fresco Dining Page.