Here in beautiful St Clair Shores, fast food outlets have abandoned their dining rooms!

My small city, one mile wide, 4.7 miles long, has two McDonalds, two Burger Kings, two Tim Hortons, one Wendy’s (really 2 because the second location is about 60 feet south of the city line, in Harper Woods), two Taco Bells, and one Arby’s. None of them have re-opened their dining rooms–not even to Counter Service, (and scoot outa here). I’m starting to believe that those dining rooms will never re-open because their drive throughs are nailing it.

Taco bell can’t easily reconfigure their spaces to promote social distancing, because both locations have “fixed” tables embedded into the concrete floors. All the others have movable tables and chairs.

Anyone else seeing this “New Normal” anomoly in their home town?

I tend to doubt any business in NYC not intentionally geared toward it (i.e., having a small space, located in an area with relatively low rents) could survive for very long on drive-through (or curbside pick-up) business alone, especially not designed-for-eating-in restaurants that tend to be located in higher-rent areas, which may have something to do with it. But out here, “way out here” in Brooklyn, no one’s opened up an indoor dining room yet (I’m not sure anyone’s even allowed to yet, even with tight restrictions), but the relatively few places that hadn’t already re-opened for indoor-pick-up takeout much earlier on (when they were allowed to as “essential” businesses) have re-opened for that. As far as I ever noticed, even McD’s - which is the only place anywhere near here with a drive-up window, never shut down their counter service either…

Otoh, a lot of places that never had outdoor seating of any kind now have at least some, and a few places have filled up all the (sidewalk) space they’re being allowed to use under the new regime. I’ve been seeing a steady trickle  of diners at the most popular of those (they were normally packed to the rafters before the pandemic), but no one seems to be in a mad rush to start “eating out” again, at least not around here…

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold