Whether you’re starting a new restaurant, reopening one, or just continuing business this year, there’s no denying that there are certain difficulties you’re likely to face. As the pandemic rages on, added safety measures are not only necessary to keep your customers and your staff safe, they are also among the first things people look for in businesses.
If you’re wondering where to begin, this article will detail the steps you need to take to ensure the safety of your restaurant in 2021 and beyond.
There are certain structural or facilities changes you’ll have to make to accommodate today’s world.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social distancing is still the most effective way of preventing, or at least significantly reducing, the spread of the coronavirus.
If you’re opening your restaurant to customers, you need to take social distancing into account. You can move tables and chairs to create more distance between them. In most cases, you will have to reduce the number of tables and chairs, effectively reducing your restaurant’s capacity as well.
But social distancing doesn’t stop there. Your staff also needs to practice physical distancing, even if this means cutting down your operations.
Most, if not all, establishments that choose to open during this time should have stations where both customers and staff members can sanitize. This can be a combination of handwashing stations, sanitizer dispensers, UV light sterilizers, and more.
There have always been strict policies about commercial kitchen safety. Now that there’s more at stake, you also need to step up the safety measures. Regular sterilization and meticulous hygiene practices are essential. Some commercial kitchens even leverage the antimicrobial characteristics of epoxy wall coating to further reduce the likelihood of contamination.
You can adjust some of your protocols and operations to keep everyone safe and maybe even earn more.
Many restaurants are taking advantage of mobile delivery apps and social media to sell their food. This not only reduces potential physical interactions overall; it also opens your business up to markets you’ve never accessed before. Some food stores only offer this option while the pandemic is ongoing.
If you do invite customers to eat in, it’s important to offer them the option of cashless payments. Cash money changes hands so frequently and quickly. It can easily become a vehicle for virus transmission. Keep your customers and your staff safe by offering card or e-wallet options.
Many establishments, not just restaurants, no longer accept cash payments to further reduce the spread. If you’re going to choose this option, make sure that it is properly communicated to set expectations.
This option allows your customers to order their food ahead of time so the interaction with servers is reduced. You can also offer your customers the choice to make their payments online before coming in or even when they are already inside.
This is a must during the pandemic. Many establishments have their own protocols regarding contact tracing. Check with your local government whether there are regulations that need to be met.
If not, using a QR code system is a popular choice. Customers just need to scan a QR code on their phones and they will be routed to questionnaires that they need to fill out. This is one of the safest ways to conduct contact tracing.
Having a more vigilant attitude regarding safety is arguably more important than other measures mentioned here. Understanding the dos and don’ts and making sure that everyone on the team is on the same page are essentials in running a restaurant in 2021.
You also need to make sure that all safety regulations are followed and understood. The prevention of the spread is up to everyone.