Dining out back on the table as Jakarta restaurants open for dine-in starting today

The outdoor area of Simetri Coffee Roasters in Melawai, South Jakarta  in February 2020. <em>Photo by Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media</em>
The outdoor area of Simetri Coffee Roasters in Melawai, South Jakarta in February 2020. Photo by Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media

Following months of social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, dining in ⁠— with several restrictions ⁠— is now an option at some of your favorite restaurants in Jakarta. 

In line with the capital entering the transitional phase of the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) protocol, the Jakarta provincial government has loosened up some aspects of the partial lockdown by allowing the reopening of some businesses, including restaurants. 

“Restaurants can start [opening] on June 8. Then again, they have to implement 50 percent [occupancy] from their full capacity,” Governor Anies Baswedan said during a live press conference last Thursday. 

Starting today, stand-alone restaurants, coffee shops, and other F&B premises are allowed to open at half capacity, but establishments located inside malls are still only open for takeaway for the time being.

The restaurants must implement standard COVID-19 protocols once they’re open for dine-in, but buffets will be prohibited for the foreseeable future, which is notably relevant for restaurants serving Padang cuisine, which are known for serving their entire menu lineup on the table.

Other regulations during the transitional PSBB phase include a push for cashless payments and only having half the staff on duty in one shift.

New normal = new ways of dining in

In a report by Kompas published today, Padang restaurant chains Padang Merdeka and Pagi Sore announced that they are opening their doors for dine-in patrons with 50 percent occupancy today. However, meals will be served a la carte, and distances between tables will also be increased to comply with the physical distancing protocol.

Didi Mardiyanto, who manages Padang Merdeka’s Kota Tua branch, said that among precautionary measures the restaurant is enforcing are 1-meter distance between tables and obligatory temperature checks upon entry.

Amirudin, a manager at Pagi Sore’s Rawamangun branch, said on top of additional hygiene measures, patrons will be asked to wait in their cars if the restaurant reaches 50 percent of its capacity.

Popular coffee shops such as Kopi Nalar, Simetri Coffee Roasters, and the Panglima Polim branch of Beau Bakery ⁠— all located in hip neighborhoods in South Jakarta’s Kebayoran Baru ⁠— are also open for dine-in services starting today with adjustments according to government-issued protocols.

Some restaurants are still not quite ready for dine-in services and have resumed alternative methods to serve customers their food. Pò Noodle Bar, which is located next to Kopi Nalar, is open for drive-in ⁠— a service employed by some restaurants in Jakarta during the pandemic, which involves serving customers food in their parked cars ⁠— while it’s readying its space for full service soon.

“We would like to encourage our patrons to use our chinaware and utensils rather than single-use or disposable ones as part of our effort to reduce packaging waste that has increased significantly during the pandemic, or they can bring their own set of utensils,” Pò Noodle Bar’s spokesman Banjo Tasning told Coconuts today. 

Will you be dining out anytime soon or do you still prefer having your meals delivered to your door during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments!


Also Read: Thousands flock to GBK sports complex as Jakartans miss exercise and selfies

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