The staff of Roasters, a gastropub in Sandy Springs, Georgia, came in an hour early Monday for a rapid-fire training session on new safety measures being put in place to protect staff and employees. The local chain restaurant resumed dine-in service this morning after more than a month of offering only delivery and pick-up to customers. 
"We want to make sure everybody is on the same page as far as the sanitation procedures go and is extra-conscious about cleanliness at this point," district manager Becca Fishman told Cheddar. "We work in a restaurant, so fortunately none of this is new to us." 
Roasters is one of the first Georgia restaurants to reopen its dining area in line with an executive order from Gov. Brian Kemp that went into effect Monday. The Republican governor has led the pack of largely conservative states that are eager to restart their economies amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite criticism from businesses and even President Donald Trump.
This is the second wave of Georgia's controversial reopening. A string of businesses, including tattoo parlors, gyms, bowling alleys, and hair salons, was allowed to open last Friday, though many decided to stay closed until there is more evidence that coronavirus cases are dropping.
The latest state guidelines saw a mixed response as well, with whole segments of the restaurant industry holding off on allowing walk-in customers until further notice. 
"We could maintain all of the things that they want for dine-in, but we're choosing not to just to make sure everyone is as safe as possible," Bella Hodges, lead baker for Decadent Dessert Bar in downtown Macon in central Georgia, told Cheddar. 
Small towns, such as Macon, have seen their restaurant industries form a united front in staying closed. Savannah's restaurants, likewise, have collectively held off on reopening.  
"They are taking a financial hit, and they're still saying, 'We want to make sure that we are as certain as we possibly can that we have the right parameters in place to keep not only our staff but also the Savannah community safe,'" Jackie Schott, executive director of the Savannah Downtown Business Association, told a local public radio station. 
Dozens of Atlanta restaurants have done the same, even as a number of corporate chains have pushed ahead with the reopening, including Chronic Tacos and Waffle House. 
The Georgia Restaurant Association split the difference in its most recent statement:  
"During this transitional period we are all in, Georgia's restaurants request respect, patience and understanding with regards to the pace of reopening. Some may be ready and choose to welcome diners on April 27, while many will need additional time to confirm their individual supply chain, restart new operational standards, and ensure the safety of their staff and guests."
For those that do open, it won't be business as usual for the foreseeable future. 
The state is requiring that restaurants maintain a limit of 10 diners per 500 square feet, close down any salad bars or buffets, and ensure that staff use face-coverings and wash their hands. 
Roasters in Sandy Springs is making the effort in order to compensate for lost business and rebuild its connection with the community. 
"From the owner's perspective, the business has taken a huge loss over the last couple of months, and he feels like it's time to follow regulations and show up for the community and see if we can drum up some business and provide some meals for our customers," Fishman said. 
The manager didn't gloss over the mixed reaction from customers, however. 
"We have customers who are like 'Why would you do this?'" she said. "Then we have customers who are so excited and cannot wait to come back and dine-in. A lot of them are police officers who work in Sandy Springs who have made it very clear they're excited to come in on a lunch break."
The response from staff has been similarly mixed, she added. Some are eager to return to work and start getting paid again, and others are staying home until they feel the situation is safer. 
"It's pretty split," she said. "We're not telling people they have to come back or we're going to terminate them. It's nothing like that. We're giving folks the option." 
Georgia's next step toward reopening the economy comes later this week. The state's shelter-in-place order expires just before midnight on Thursday, April 30.