Many diners say they are too nervous to eat out when restaurants reopen June 1

State governments are loosening restrictions on eating in restaurants, but many diners say they are not ready.
State governments are loosening restrictions on eating in restaurants, but many diners say they are not ready. Photo: iStock

Despite state governments loosening restaurant restrictions next week, 42 per cent of Good Food readers say they are not ready to eat out at reopening venues, according to a poll taken on our Good Food Facebook page.

At time of publication, more than 2400 votes had been cast in the poll, with only 58 per cent of respondents saying they would feel comfortable eating out.

Many in the "no" category cited their safety was the main reason for their answer, saying it was "much too risky" and they are still avoiding going out until "absolutely necessary".

"Until this virus is eradicated or a vaccine [is] found I will be not socialising in crowds or groups as people are too complacent about social distancing," commented Toni Muir.

Others suggested they wanted to avoid a dining "rush" that they expected would arise in the first few weeks of opening.

"I will continue with my present pattern of supporting local, but will wait to go out for a meal or drinks until after the initial inevitable stampede. Or I'll book weekday lunch, avoiding peak periods," wrote Jessica Browning.

"Will wait for the mad/insane June 1st rushes to pass – then see how it's looking/developing... And aim to support local!!!" commented Lynda Dixon.

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Other "no" respondents said they were keen to eat out, but the social distancing restrictions were still too tight for their families or not of benefit to restaurants.

"We are totally ready to go, but unfortunately in VIC with a limit of six per booking, as a family of eight plus partners, we won't be able to go out until they allow a booking of 11. Eagerly waiting for that," wrote Narelle Thompson.

Elle Welsh felt that eating with her kids was unfair to restaurants as it would lower their profits. "I have two children under five. I won't subject restaurants trying to make ends meet to their noisy presence and low profitability," she commented.

Despite the comment feed being overwhelmingly still wary, a little more than half of the respondents said they were ready to dine out. And it was a similar story on our Twitter poll, with 53 per cent of voters saying they were ready to dine out.

"Went for our first dinner out last Saturday at our local Thai where they were serving 10 people at the time, seated outside, heaters on. We had the bestest time. Sooo good to be out again," wrote Cindy Kokkelkoren on Facebook.

Sarah Ste was in agreeance: "I've been dining out since 10 people were allowed in a restaurant or pub. The feeling is fantastic!"