Your Table Is Ready: Insights From CORE’s Allison Cooke and Silver Diner

As D.C., Maryland and Virginia all shift to allowing indoor dining for the first time in more than three months, restaurants and their customers are having to grapple with entirely new experiences to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. CORE client Silver Diner began ramping up its dining operations and rehiring many of those employees they had to furlough mid-March. As of June 24, 18 of its 19 locations were operating. Silver Diner has worked with CORE to reconfigure dining areas in its 18 restaurants. “Plexiglass can kind of help prevent [Covid-19’s spread] if somebody is sneezing or talking, but really the biggest way to prevent it is through the HVAC system, which has a higher implementation cost,” said Allison Cooke, a principal for D.C.-based Core architecture + design, who is helping restaurant clients work through their reopening strategies. Silver Diner’s Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst says “it’s all about making the guests not only feel welcome — that was always the case — but also making guests feel safe and comfortable in coming to your place. Because when we did open up, we thought it was going to be lines of people, but that hasn’t been the case, because people are careful and cautious.”

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Customer preferences and staff concerns will drive a lot of the adjustments to your restaurant. CORE is helping operators adapt using design strategies in their spaces that prioritize safety, by identifying challenges specific to their current layouts. Explore our reopening resources.


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