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Are your favorite restaurants certified COVID-19 safe?

More than 200 restaurants in Wisconsin have taken the formal pledge, according to the WRA.
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:14 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:26 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - To restore confidence in indoor dining, restaurants in Wisconsin can get certified and say it’s “Ready to Serve Safely.”

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) created the program in November so that restaurants can commit to best practices against the spread of COVID-19. More than 200 restaurants, according to the WRA, are participating. The commitment requires them to follow local and federal guidelines. The WRA also expects socially distanced tables and “hyper-sanitization,” according to president and CEO Kristine Hillmer,

Rare Steakhouse in downtown Madison took the pledge. “There are some other places that don’t follow the certifications and are pushing the boundaries on that and/or misinterpretat of some of the guidelines,” general manager Mike Kull said. “But I don’t think you can be too careful to protect the health of the guests at this point.”

A family dines at Rare Steakhouse, which has been certified by the Wisconsin Restaurant...
A family dines at Rare Steakhouse, which has been certified by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association for displaying best practices against COVID-19.(WMTV/Michelle Baik)

Kull said customers have been curious about their procedures. He said, “I was fielding a lot of phone calls where people would ask, ‘What do you do for protection of the guests? Do you do this? Do you do this? Do you do this?’”

Jennifer Kapinus said she always checks online for restaurant protocol. She did so on Tuesday before dining at Rare, where she requested that her family dine in a room away from other guests. “We don’t dine out frequently, so its nice to feel comfortable and safe and that the restaurant can accommodate that,” she said.

While restaurants say they can safely serve, their challenge is getting guests to believe it too. Kapinus said the Ready to Serve Safely certification added an extra layer of comfort.

The full list of participating restaurants can be found here, and the criteria can be found here. The WRA says restaurants can ask for posters to display their certification.

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