Flagler tourism officials ask restaurants to take 'Pledge to Prevent' by providing safe dining experience

Flagler County officials say they are the perfect destination for tourists who are starting to travel again. They want to make sure those folks feel comfortable eating at the local restaurants.

Friday night along Flagler Beach, a lot of the restaurants were already busy.

“Surprisingly, we have been extremely busy. It’s fantastic seeing all the guests after everything that’s happened,” said Anna Romanina, who’s a manager at Oceanside Beach Bar and Grill. “The businesses that are outdoors… they’ve been packed. Everybody wants to sit outside.”

This is an asset to Flagler County Tourism Department.

According to their research, people who are beginning to travel again are looking for beaches that aren’t too crowded and open-air businesses.

“We thought, ‘Wow!’ we're really in a good position to attract that first wave of travelers when they travel again,” said Amy Lukasik, executive director of tourism in Flagler County.

To make visitors feel safe when they go out to eat, the county has launched the “Pledge to Prevent” campaign.

They’re asking local restaurants to commit to using PPE, cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, and keeping sick employees at home.

When businesses take the pledge, they’ll get free facemasks and placemats.

“The incentive for the businesses is that the tourism office will be able to help promote and advertise those businesses for free,” said Lukasik.

Businesses that have struggled for months are hoping for a boost.

Oceanside managers say they’ll take the pledge.

“We get phone calls all the time, people ask all the time, ‘What are you doing? How are you sanitizing?’ I would happy to share all that information. So if it’s something the county thinks everybody can band together and help out together think is a fantastic idea,” Romanina said.

The county says nearly 50 restaurants have already expressed interest in taking the pledge.