In some states, restrictions are slowly being lifted. COVID-19 has left a lasting impact on the world and if your restaurant is opening-up again, you’re going to need to prepare yourself for adjusting to a new norm. Here are a few recommendations we have that will help prepare you for readjusting to a new norm. But first, we need to talk about one thing, social distancing.
What is Social Distancing?
According to the Center for Disease Control, social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social distancing, you’ll want to stay at least six feet apart from each other. In restaurants, this can be practiced by offering a takeout service. For restaurants that are opening-up fully, precautions should be in place.
Seating and Occupancy in Restaurants
The first change you’ll physically need to do in restaurants is to change the seating arrangements. Space out your tables and bar stools 6 feet apart. Allow only a certain amount of customers in your restaurant. Having a pre-COVID maximum occupancy in your current restaurant may cause alarm. If you are unable to move anything around, consider marking empty booths or stools that will help distance parties from each other. Doing so allows customers and staff to safely interact with each other without worry.
Sanitizing and Your Limited Staff
Limiting the number of people allowed in your restaurant allows your staff to tend to every customer very carefully. Equipping your staff with face masks and sterile gloves makes sure that all communications between customers and the waiters/waitresses are safe. This allows the staff to sterilize every table and all equipment used in the restaurant. Require that your staff frequently wash their hands (e.g. before, during, and after preparing food; after touching garbage) for at least 20 seconds. Encourage your staff to sneeze or cough into a tissue. Throw all used tissues away and have staff wash their hands immediately after.
Social Distancing in Your Restaurants
Lastly, in your restaurant, you’re going to want to limit contact as best as you can. One step is setting up your restaurant for delivery. Restaurants with enough space or have the extra room can easily adapt to setting up to restaurant delivery. However, car takeout can be another option. Car takeout involves the customer waiting in their car and having a staff member run the food out to them. Having customers in your restaurant can be done, but the precautions above should be mentioned.
These are only a few tips that make restaurants manageable during COVID-19 and the times that follow ahead of it. Follow these tips listed above to ensure that safety is a number one priority.