If you think the Hawaii car rental situation is bad, you probably haven’t yet encountered what it’s like to eat out in Hawaii. We’re here to report that restaurants that accept reservations are virtually impossible to get into, and those that don’t take reservations, well, you can expect to stand in line for some time. For top-notch restaurants, think Mama’s Fish House on Maui; it is worse. We tried getting a reservation today, and the first one we could find was for July 31.
At present, restaurants in Hawaii are limited to a 50% capacity restriction. Restauranteurs say this is an impossible situation, given the influx of visitor arrivals. Maui’s mayor recently spoke up and asked the governor to return capacity at restaurants to 75%. That request was denied. But now, restauranteurs have asked again, and this time the governor has listened.
Hawaii restaurants will move from 50% capacity up to 75% capacity as soon as 60% of Hawaii residents have been fully vaccinated and/or received one dose. That is likely to happen soon, based on what we are hearing. Currently, that rate stands at 53 percent and rising.
At that same vaccination rate of 60%, social gatherings will also increase to 25 people indoors and up to 75 people outdoors.
Here’s what to do.
Until things change both in terms of capacity and visitor arrivals, it’s best to plan and book restaurants before your trip. Check the websites of your favorite restaurants or use Open Table to see what’s available on the island you are visiting. Another important thing is to book your luau early if it’s on your list of things to do in Hawaii. So that makes, at a minimum, three things to book in advance—airfare, Hawaii car rentals, and now restaurants. You might want to add Hawaii activities to your list for advance bookings as well.
Regular commenter Patrick added these helpful tips:
If you strike out at a restaurant you want to go to, call them and see if they have a waiting list and inform them of the days you would go. If they are sold out and your travel dates are well in advance, it might work out. Once you get there, you can always stop by and ask as they will see you are committed to trying or re-visisting their restaurant. If you are visiting from the mainland especially in the fist few days, trying making an early reservation since you will still be on Mainland time. Good luck.
Share your ideas too on how to find an open table on your Hawaii vacation.
Moana surfrider image courtesy of Marriott.