The Buzz: Servers wear masks in these restaurants – Post-Crescent


Maureen Wallenfang
Appleton Post-Crescent

Published 5:08 PM EDT Jun 29, 2020

The CDC says restaurants should require workers to wear masks to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

“Face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult,” it says. 

Like when a server is reciting specials at a table, or setting a plate down within inches of a customer. 

Wisconsin, however, has no statewide order that says employees must wear masks. 

In last week’s column I asked readers to help compile a list of restaurants where they’ve observed servers wearing or not wearing masks. Observations are important because what a restaurant says on its website, and what its employees actually do, can be entirely different. 

Some readers say a list like this dictates where they’ll spend their money. Masks are a dealbreaker. 

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“We want to support local businesses, however, we don’t feel comfortable eating at a restaurant not requiring masks,” said reader Kris Card. 

Another said the mere act of making a list amounts to business “shaming.”

“I hope you simply report on places that have and do not have mask requirements because there are a lot of us out here that believe it’s a person’s personal choice and we also believe a lot of this is hyped up,” said Dave Lehman. 

He was in the minority of those who responded. 

“I call ahead to find out if the eating establishment wears masks. If they do not, I will not go there. I will tip extra for the server who is wearing a mask,” said Sue Erdmann of Menasha, echoing the sentiment of many. “It’s a sign that the eating establishment is doing their best to protect us from the virus.”

Reader Ann Loehrke said she would like to see all restaurants require masks. “I read that a doctor from Green Bay said, interestingly, most chain restaurants require masking. It’s the locals who are not as masked.”

RN Wendy Ressler said she’s “discouraged by the lack of mask wearing in general around the Fox Cities.” She praised Pullmans, as did several others who emailed comments, for the precautions it takes. 

But Ressler said she was upset with Chipotle because its website says employees are supposed to wear face masks “at all times” and wash hands after every task. “No employee at Grand Chute had a mask on and I observed no hand washing in the 20 minutes I was there,” she said. 

“A few bars and restaurants (mostly bars) we’ve been to feel like nothing has changed. No one in masks and no other added precautions,” wrote reader Danielle Wirth. “Though I wouldn’t necessarily avoid going places where employees don’t wear masks, it feels good to know businesses are doing something differently to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Note that the lists below are not set in stone. Restaurants can change policies at any time. 

Information here is from diners who reported over the last week what they’ve observed. A few restaurant owners also sent in information. 

Masks observed on servers

Antojitos Mexicanos, Apollon, Apple Valley Pancake House, Cannova’s Pizzeria, Chick-fil-A, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Chili’s, Copper Rock, Cranky Pat’s, Culver’s, Dairy Queen, Draft Gastropub, Fratellos, George’s Steakhouse, Great Harvest Bread Company, Greene’s Pour House, HuHot Mongolian Grill, Jimmy John’s in Menasha, McDonald’s, Meade Street Bistro, Mihm’s, Olive Garden, Osorio’s, Pullmans, Red Lobster, Rookies Sports Bar & Grill, Rye Restaurant, Solea Mexican Grill in Menasha, Spats, Stone Arch Brewpub, Tempest, Thornberry Creek, Woodfire Lodge and Zuppas. 

No masks observed on servers/employees

Chipotle in Grand Chute, Cinders on Appleton’s east side, Cousin’s Subs on Northland Avenue, Harbor Bar in Waupaca, Little Rico’s in Wrightstown, Mr. Brews Taphouse, Parker John’s, Pizza King on Northland Avenue, Royal St. Patrick’s, Tanners Grill & Bar, Tom’s Drive-In, Van Abel’s of Hollandtown, Victoria’s Italian Cuisine, Waverly Beach and Westridge Golf Course. 

For updated information, call the business directly. 

Several Facebook groups that follow coronavirus practices include Fox Valley Business COVID Precautions and Support Fox Valley Businesses with Pandemic Safe Practices. 

Contact reporter Maureen Wallenfang at 920-993-7116 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @wallenfang.

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