Restaurant owners in Windsor were busy Thursday preparing their dining rooms to welcome customers for indoor dining Friday as Ontario moved into Stage 3 of reopening.
"Well, our dining room has been a storage room for the past so many months, so we just have to make sure that everything is nicely sanitized and cleaned," said Filip Rocca, owner of Mezzo Ristorante and Lounge on Erie Street.
The province has set no limit on the number of people allowed per table or in the restaurant, as long as physical distancing can be maintained between different groups. Restaurants can offer buffet service.
Rocca has set up barriers between tables so they don't have to be kept two metres apart, allowing for more seating capacity.
Rocca said not having indoor dining has been difficult because even though having a patio has helped it has been inconsistent.
"Because we've had a lot of cancellations in the last few months due to weather."
Even with indoor dining returning, Rocca said they won't be back to normal capacity of 191. They will be able to seat 80 along with the patio.
At Tommy's Barbeque in South Windsor the manager said they were busy calling back staff and doing training.
"Trying to get them on board, get them set up, get them on the computer, figuring out schedules, making sure we have everything in stock right now," said Leslie Bombelli.
Meanwhile, at Windsor's Penalty Box restaurant they will take a "wait-and-see" approach before reopening their dining rooms.
"We've just got a lot of work. We're just focusing on our second location which will be opening in about a month," said Nick Niforos, son of owner Van Niforos.
The restaurant has been offering take-out only during the pandemic. The new location on Cabana Road will only offer take-out.