CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Downtown Cincinnati restaurant is adding some muscle to its payroll in the form of a bouncer.
No, the problem isn’t unruly customers or long lines outside. The problem is the pandemic, specifically the social distancing requirements that obtain as restaurants reopen to indoor dining across Ohio.
“We have a new job title,” said Sheenah Crawford of Rusconi’s Pizza. “It’s called the COVID Bouncer.”
Crawford explains last weekend she noticed folks weren’t following social distancing guidelines while dining in the restaurant’s outdoor patio space.
She wasn’t the only one. Pictures surfaced on social media late Friday, the first day outdoor dining was permitted in Ohio, appearing to show several bars in Cincinnati with patrons standing close together, failing to social distance in groups larger than 10 and not wearing masks.
“It’s hard for us to enforce those guidelines when we are bardenting, serving, we have cooks in the back,” she said. “So it’s like we have to be all these places, and it’s just hard to be there.”
Crawford says Rusconi’s isn’t getting many of the stereotypical muscle-bound applicants a bouncer listing might usually attract.
“We have a lot of female applicants for this job, which is awesome,” she explained. “I mean, like, people don’t expect females to want to be a bounce. It’s pretty cool to see that happening now.”
And while this bouncer won’t exactly be there to keep the peace, they will be responsible for making sure the clientele mind their social-distancing manners.
“It will be just to make sure that people are social distancing, staying six feet apart,” Crawford said. “You have to sit down at your table when you are seated, you cannot walk around the bar with a drink in your hand... Just making sure we’re following CDC guidelines and what governor DeWine has set for us.”