SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has released new guidelines for resuming sit-down dining, but it will still be awhile before San Francisco Bay Area restaurants will be re-opening. The governor said counties will have to meet certain benchmarks first.

Restaurant owners who spoke with KPIX 5 say they feel hopeful they can re-engage with the public under the new guidance.

“I came away more excited than burdened,” said Clay Walker, president of Gott’s Roadside chain of restaurants.

Walker is hopeful his fast-casual restaurants can adapt to the new state guidelines. Mainly — social distancing must be maintained, customers and employees should wear face coverings, and outdoor seating must be prioritized.

Restaurants can also consider screening guests for symptoms of COVID-19.

“Nothing on this list of requirements is unachievable, is it laborious? Sure, it’s one of the hardest businesses when the stars were aligned,” said Walker.

But he says he’s ready to make it work, and has already upped strict cleaning protocols at Gott’s, which has 7 Bay Area locations.

Poor House Bistro in San Jose known for its Cajun food says its biggest challenge will be re-configuring tables to be 6 feet apart, and turning a profit. Jay Meduri is still awaiting Santa Clara County’s rules for his restaurant.

“Depending on if they’re too restricted, we might just continue doing our takeout because it’s very hard to maintain an establishment when you have a minimal amount of people,” said Meduri.

Newsom did not give a date for the reopening of restaurants, it will likely be a disjointed process.

“None of this means anything if customers don’t feel safe. And none of this matters, if employees don’t feel safe and don’t want to come back to work,” said Newsom.

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