ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Wineries are among the businesses that the green light to reopen this week for in-person service — but only those that also serve food.
Cordiano Winery in Escondido has a full kitchen on site and was eagerly awaiting being able to welcome guests back on to the property after weeks of take-out only.
“Part of the experience was getting people excited about coming up here and once that was cut off, we had to just shift gears,” said general manager Frank Cordiano.
Now it is time for the winery to shift gears again to safely allow wining and dining back on site. It’s something Cordiano has been preparing for all along.
“About a month ago I ordered a temporal thermometer. It just occurred to me that I had noticed some places around the country require temperature scans.”
Staff and customers will have their temperatures checked before entering and there will be a focus on social distancing with tables at least 10 to 12 feet apart. All plates, utensils and cups will also be disposable.
To make things even more efficient, each table will have a laminated signs with a QR code that guests can scan with their smart phone, leading them to view the menu and even be able to pay online. Anyone without a smartphone will be given a disposable paper menu.
Reservations will be required and tables will be blocked off for two hours, 90 minutes for the guests and 30 minutes for cleaning and sanitizing before a new group arrives.
There is a key reason Cordiano’s winery gets to be back in service and that is the food component.
“You may have to come and order a breadstick or dessert, you know to make it officially OK,” Cordiano said.
According to health guidelines, wine tastings are still off the table.
“It’s a lot of contact at the bar in a group of people all at the bar and I think they want to eliminate that for now.”
It may sound like a lot of red tape, but Cordiano says it’s all temporary.
“It’s what we’re doing under the strict guidelines just to be able simply to re-open because we miss the people, honestly.”
Cordiano and his team are shooting for officially opening Saturday or Sunday. He says the best way to keep up to date with that information and all the key information about what to expect when you arrive is by visiting the winery’s website.