toronto indoor dining

This is what it feels like for Toronto restaurants to have indoor dining again

With indoor dining once again allowed in Ontario, many restaurants have had to relearn what it's like to have customers arrive for food without a to-go bag in their hand.

Whether it's training new staff, implementing safety precautions, or just getting used to waiting on several tables at once, the reopening of Toronto's dining scene has been full of plenty of chaos.

Many restaurants were left scrambling due to the short notice of Ontario entering Step 3, and while grateful they can once again operate their business indoors, can't help but feel the whole process was a bit rushed.

"We were ready to go but it was short notice. We would have liked to have had some more time to prepare," Peter Avenins, General Manager of the Lakeview Restaurant told blogTO.

"Right now it's hard to find cooks, we are very short staffed."

While physical distancing limit put on indoor dining might help some restaurants from being overwhelmed, the lack of staff can still affect operating hours as restaurants ease into their old routines.

"Every day it's getting a little bit better, a little bit easier but it comes down to staffing for us," Avenis said.

"We can't do 24 hours yet, we want to but it's a matter of getting the people."

Meanwhile, there are still many customers who prefer not to eat indoors whether for safety reasons or simply out of comfort and choosing to enjoy the summer sunshine rather than sitting at an indoor table.

"Today we hardly got any dining in. People came in, they took the orders and just left," Basith Ahammed, Manager Cluck Clucks told blogTO.

"I spoke to some of the customers, they said it's better to be outside."

It's anyone's guess what the future of restaurant dining looks like in Toronto, whether restaurants will be allowed to keep their patios, or if all patrons will eventually be forced back inside.

It may just be the sweltering summer heat, but right now the patios are so popular that many people see no need to rush back indoors just yet.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at The Lakeview

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

This vegetarian restaurant in Toronto has been a low-key hidden gem for 30 years

This new Toronto restaurant is a partnership between Israelis and Palestinians

Toronto is obsessing over the outrageous footlong soft serve at this new ice cream joint

Farms for pick-your-own peaches in Ontario are now open for the season

Toronto's buzziest new restaurant taking heat for posting photos of women

Toronto bar under fire for letting staff work without masks on

Toronto restaurant furious after Bell accidentally cuts off their phone line

You can now get a French fry sandwich in Toronto and it's only $1 this weekend