We know that many New Zealanders are looking forward to dining out again, and  businesses are looking forward to welcoming you.

As we enter a new phase of living at Alert Level 2 the Restaurant Association of New Zealand thought it would be helpful for supporters of our amazing hospitality industry to outline what to expect when you venture into your favourite restaurant or café.

Remember that a lot has changed for both diners and hospitality businesses alike. Our industry is doing its best under tough circumstances, so please be kind and let’s work together to keep dining out safe for all.

Pre going out (for café, restaurant or bar)

1. Restaurants that do not usually take bookings will more than likely be taking bookings, so please check in with the restaurant and make reservations. We recommend checking in with any establishments as to how they are approaching things.

2. When you are making a booking you will not be able to book for more than 10 people (you cannot book multiple tables of ten for example).

3. Bars and restaurants are only open if they are serving food (until 21st May). If visiting a bar or restaurant it must be for the primary purpose of dining out. All service will be seated from a designated table and at this stage you are not able to approach the bar for a drink.

4. You are able to visit a café or restaurant for non-alcoholic beverages and do not need to order food with your coffee or freshly pressed juice for example.

5. For everyone’s safety, please remember that if you are unwell, or if you should be self-isolating, please don’t venture out – we’ll welcome you back another day.

When you get there

1. All establishments are required by law to maintain a register of guests.

The method for taking this information will vary by establishment so please be prepared to leave your name, number and email address. Your children must also be registered. This information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing and will be destroyed after two months.

2. For establishments that are not taking bookings you will likely be greeted at the door and taken to your table if you are dining in.

3. Most establishments will have table service where practical – and in this case you will be shown your table, take a seat and menus will be brought to you.

4. You’ll have a single staff member taking care of you – taking your order, delivering your food and drinks and taking your payment.

5. If going to a café for a takeaway service or to order from the counter, please maintain a one metre distance from anyone else outside of your group. We recommend you nominate one person in your group to queue to keep everyone safe.

6. If there is cabinet food, you will not be able to serve yourself. You’ll be able to point out what you want and let the person at the counter serve you. They will then either place this on to the counter for you to pick up if you are taking away or give you a table number and deliver it to your table.

7. Dining will be limited to approximately two hours in all establishments.

8. When dining in, please do remember not to share items such as menus between the

tables. These must be sanitised by the restaurants between use.

9. Please maintain good personal hygiene when dining out. Sneeze and cough into your elbow and either carry your own hand sanitiser or make regular use of the ones provided in the establishment.

10. When using the toilet please practise good hygiene and wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after use. If the toilet is occupied, you should wait at your table and return when it is free.


1. When it comes time to pay if you are at the table you will need to pay there if possible. You must not hand over your card to the server. If there is no contactless payment please place your card on the counter for the server to pick up. PayWave is preferred.

2. If you are paying with other methods the Eftpos machine will be wiped down with sanitising wipes after each use.

3. If you are paying at the counter the staff member may let you know when you can come up to the counter. You’ll need to keep a distance of 1 metre from any other customers as well as staff.

4. Even though you love your servers and hospo friends – remember – no hugs and kisses at level 2!

5. Takeaways – the only thing that has changed from level 3 is that if you have ordered take away online, or by phone, you will be able to pick this up inside but there will still be physical distancing rules when you come to pick up. Many places will have a separate pick up place to help manage customers.

*Please note that these guidelines are correct at time of publication and may be subject to updates. Please see for the latest updates.