Outer Banks Restaurants in 2020

 In Family, Food & Dining
2020 outer banks restaurants

As the entire world navigates through this uncertainty, The Restaurant Guide to the Outer Banks would like to take time to shine the spotlight on all the hard-working restaurant staff on the Outer Banks.

Please keep in mind the way things are being done right now in restaurants is far from normal. Everyone has had to come up with new ideas to keep their guests and their staff healthy. You may not be able to see the Outer Banks restaurant staff smiling behind their masks, but remember they’re beyond thankful for you and your business!

The restaurants were given a 48-hour notice from the governor that they could reopen at 50% capacity (which allows for greater social distancing). Although this was a last-minute notice, it didn’t stop restaurants from making sure kitchens, dining rooms, outdoor seating, and sanitized menu options were ready for the 2020 season. COVID-19 has given us all a totally different way of doing business.


Spacious Outdoor dining at Khan’s Mongolian Grill.

Please be mindful of a few things while dining at the amazing restaurants of the Outer Banks:

Restaurant staffing is low.

The Outer Banks is lacking roughly 3,000 students who typically come from all over the world each summer to work in the restaurants. Many locals are working 14-16 hour days, with 2-3 jobs and side hustles. The newer staff that have been hired are being trained as quickly as possible. But training during this time is a bit more challenging because it’s on a busy summer day. Think of it as being Fourth of July busy but with only a January staff.

To go orders are at a much higher level this season.

Most restaurants are not built for these dine-in/takeout dynamics. Sometimes half of the sales from one day will just be from takeout orders. When this happens, it throws the kitchen for a spin in maintaining dine-in orders being served at the same time as the takeout.


Photo by Barefoot Bernie’s Tropical Grill & Bar

Tipping your server.

Please be patient with our Outer Banks servers. If it wasn’t already hard work at the peak of summertime, imagine having to wear a mask during the entire shift. The servers are more than happy to wear a mask to protect the health of customers. Please be mindful it makes their hustle a bit more challenging while serving multiple tables at a time, both inside and out.

One last thing that is both very important and appreciated, is tipping on the to-go orders. Some might think that since the order is being taken over the phone, there isn’t much effort behind getting that order prepared for you. This is simply not the case, especially given the new circumstances. The phones have been ringing off the hook for takeout orders, and some restaurants have had to hire people specifically to handle just those takeout orders.

The entire world has been forced to step outside of their comfort zone. Let’s remember the best way to get through this is by working together. We will remain hopeful that everyone exercises patience and understanding during this 2020 season on the Outer Banks. We’re happy to have you back this summer! Let’s make it another great one!

Hang in there OBX restaurants! We at The Restaurant Guide to the Outer Banks see you going above and beyond and we’re so proud of each of you!

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