San Diego

Local Hotel Restaurants Working Hard to Get Guests to Return During COVID-19 Crisis

Restaurants are working around the clock to meet COVID-19 requirements for reopening and this is new territory for everyone. But imagine having to meet requirements for a massive hotel with restaurants inside.

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A hotel near San Diego's waterfront is working hard to get patrons to return in times of COVID-19, especially to its restaurant that opened just a few days before the stay-at-home order was issued across the county.

Intercontinental Hotel San Diego opened a few years ago. It has been making additions ever since, one of those being a restaurant with a big patio on the third floor called Garibaldi.

That restaurant opened in March. The employees worked just four shifts before the eatery was forced to shut down due to public health orders stemming from the pandemic.

Three months later, Garibaldi's dining room is once again open. Management has been working hard adapting to new rules and making the restaurant as safe as possible for guests.

Some of those safety precautions include having people walk into the restaurant one way and exit another way so that no one is crossing paths at entrances and exits. In the dining room, tables are spread out. Half of the seating is outdoors.

The menus are now disposable, or patrons can opt to use a QR code to check out the menu on their own smartphone. Anything that goes on the table -- like bill holders and pens -- is sanitized.

Management at the hotel restaurant told NBC 7 they've learned a lot from other states through this whole process.

“Those guidelines were coming out, Georgia was first and then Iowa, I was basically downloading their guidelines and staying ahead of the game," explained Jeff Josenhans, Food & Beverage Director, Intercontinental Hotel San Diego.

"We were implementing as it was going so we had already implemented a new floor plan, removed half of our tables, kind of put a plan together even before the San Diego County guidelines or the state guidelines came out,” he added.

There are three restaurants at Intercontinental Hotel San Diego.  All three are now back open and they're all following the same safety guidelines.

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