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Poll: Most Houston Diners Still Aren’t Comfortable Eating in Restaurants Right Now

Most folks are sticking to takeout and outdoor patios

The dining room at BB Lemon
Victoria Christensen/EHOU
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Last week, Eater Houston asked readers to weigh in on whether or not they’re comfortable dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results are in, and it won’t come as much of a shock, but most Houston diners still aren’t comfortable eating indoors just yet.

Just 28 percent of respondents indicated that they felt comfortable dining indoors, while about 24 percent of people were willing to eat on outdoor patios. This low enthusiasm for indoor dining could have something to do with the fact that last week, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner indicated that the city’s positivity rate, or the percentage of people who test positive for the virus, was trending in the wrong direction.

An significant number of respondents — 42 percent — indicated that they weren’t dining indoors or out, but were ordering takeout and delivery from local restaurants. At this point, though, most Houstonians are venturing out of their home for meals — only 6 percent of people reported that they were exclusively cooking and eating at home.

Considering that new COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, it’s probably a good thing that most folks are choosing to stay out of restaurant dining rooms. A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that restaurants may have an outsized role in the spread of COVID-19, with people who have contracted the virus are twice as likely to report dining out in restaurants as those who have tested negative.

See the full results of Eater Houston’s poll here.