How To Reopen Restaurants And Bars

As Restaurants and bars begin to reopen, it is important that precautions are put in place to ensure the safety of the staff and the customers.

Reopening can’t be business as usual, fundamental changes will need to be implemented that will change the way we dine out.

Some pointers to consider are:

  • Implement different sets of shifts for employees and stick to them. That way if someone tests positive for Covid-19 on one shift, exposure is clear and limited.

  • Place hand sanitizer on every table and regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces.

  • Offer disposable menus or touchless ordering through a mobile app, text or phone call.

  • Offer touchless payment options. Don’t accept cash.

  • “It’s hard to have your clients come in wearing masks if they’re supposed to eat,” says Lucia Mullen, an analyst at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and the lead author on a toolkit for reopening businesses. “Employees at the very least will wear masks. People can wear masks to get to their table. If they ever get up to go to the bathroom, they put a mask back on.”

  • Avoid reusable condiments on tables or self-serve stations and instead switch to single-serve packets for items like ketchup.

  • Communicate and train staff on new protocols. “If your employees are showing up to work, and they haven’t yet been briefed on what your expectations are, you are going to get a little bit of chaos,” Frantz adds.

  • Buffets and salad bars should use sneeze guards—glass or plastic barriers that shield food—and utensils should be changed and washed frequently, according to the National Restaurant Association.

As you begin to reopen, remember to take your time, don’t feel like you need to rush into it, it’s better to take your time than to open without measures fully incorporated into your processes.

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