Will you dine at restaurants where servers don’t wear masks?

The Florida governor recommends you wear a mask if you can’t social distance. He said you don’t need to wear it on the beach or while out for a jog. But what about restaurants?

We talked to customers Tuesday who say they pick their places to eat based on whether employees are wearing masks.

At The Veranda in downtown Fort Myers, everyone from valets to bartenders and the manager wear masks.

But people told us servers wearing masks seems like a fading trend at other businesses. And some customers told us that means they won’t be going out to eat anymore either.

It’s only Dave and Marianne Denman’s second time out to eat since restaurants reopened.

“Last week, it was like a $44 tab, and it was the happiest $44 we ever spent because we were able to get out,” Dave said.

“I am sick of cooking,” Marianne said.

But the couple says they’re not tired of seeing their servers wear masks.

“Very safe and much safer than if they didn’t have them on,” Dave said. “And that’s why we’re not going to go to a restaurant where they’re not wearing them.”

In the comments for our Facebook poll, commenters expressed worry about servers not wearing mask properly, and others said they won’t return of mask and social distancing are not implemented properly at a restaurant.

And some commenters said the customers were the only ones wearing masks at restaurants they went to.

“It’s taking a little while for the servers to get used to wearing a mask at the table,” said Dennis Genge, the restaurant’s general manager. “But I think everybody has really settled in, and now they know it’s the new norm now, so it’s not going to change anytime soon.”

At reservation only, The Veranda told us it’s better able to plan for safety-first dining. The restaurant has added sanitizing stations and taken out tables to better distance.

But not all customers care for it.

“I think they’re getting comfortable with it,” Genge said. “They seem to be having mixed feelings from customers some wish we didn’t have. [And other] customers feel like it’s the safe thing to do and courtesy to them that we’re doing that.”

Not all restaurants are doing that. But customers such as the Manino family say they won’t be eating at places that don’t take precautions.

“And I appreciate that because they’re trying to protect our health as well,” Jay Manino said. “It’s good.”

“And it does make you feel very safe,” Kay Manino said.

Let us know what you think if you haven’t already.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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