'It's minimal interaction,' city leaders say of restaurant service to help prevent spread of COVID-19

Posted at 10:07 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 22:34:48-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Carry out or delivery at restaurants is the new normal to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Some restaurants had to lock up their doors, and the ones that are still open are seeing empty dining areas.

“We made the decision pretty quickly to no longer allow people inside just for the sake of keeping all of our workers safe,” said Amber Kostka. She's the general manager of Stockpot in Norfolk.

Monday, Governor Ralph Northam made the final decision to close all seating areas.

“How can we best support our downtown businesses and keep downtown up and running while still adhering to what the CDC guidelines are?" asked Jessica Kliner.

Walking into a restaurant and picking up your food is an option, but curbside is what the Downtown Norfolk Council wants the community to start doing.

Kliner, the Director of Marketing for the council, spent the day tying "curbside pickup" signs to poles in front of restaurants downtown.

“You don’t even have to put your shoes on - you can just get in your car and go and you’re supporting a local small business, and they need every bit of support that we can give them,” Kliner adds.

Curbside pickup is as easy as it sounds: All you have to do is hop into your car, drive up to one of the city-assigned spots and call the number that’s on the sign for the restaurant. Then, an employee will bring your food right out to your car.

Kostka says she’s already getting family orders for curbside.

“Not everybody has the time to make three meals a day. Even now when they are stuck at home, it’s still a busy time a lot go - people are working from home,” she said.

Parking near these signs is also free for customers who are picking up food downtown or in the Neon District.

For a full list of businesses participating in curbside pickup, click here.

Click here for full coverage on open businesses