BROOKHAVEN, Ga. (WSB/CNN) - Many are taking a look at how Georgia restaurants like Waffle House are reopening for dine-in customers during the middle of the coronavirus outbreak.
WSB reports the Georgia-based diner was among the first to serve customers once the state’s restrictions on restaurants were lifted on Monday. One of the customers at a Brookhaven location was Kim Kaseta.
“It’s been a family hangout," Kaseta said. “We saw Evander Holyfield and his family in here one day.”
The former heavyweight boxing champion wasn’t present Monday morning, but the company said no matter who walks in, some things won’t change at the restaurant.
“They’ll get the ‘Welcome to Waffle House!’ -- the greeting we’re all excited to be able to give them," Waffle House spokesperson Njeri Boss said. "But when they come in, it’ll be clear where they can and cannot sit.”
The Brookhaven location had red tape strapped across some of the booths, and some of the stools are also off-limits. You will see cooks and servers wearing masks, and there are red "X" marks on the floor so people know where to stand as they wait for a seat.
Some have opposed Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to allow restaurants like Waffle House to reopen their dining rooms, but Boss believes many of the critics can work from home while still collecting a paycheck, and a large number of the restaurant’s employees are unable to do that.
“It’s very easy to say that we shouldn’t be when you still have all of those things. We want to be here to make sure everybody who wants to take care of themselves and their families can do it. That’s the American way," Boss said.
Georgia is requiring restaurants to only allow 10 diners per 500 square feet of dining room space, WSB reports.
As for Kaseta, she said she feels comfortable eating inside, and being able to return to Waffle House gives her a sense of home.
“It all starts off at Waffle House! What can’t get any more American than Waffle House, right?” she said.
Georgia has seen nearly 24,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has administered more than 125,000 tests as of Monday afternoon.