Opening Your Restaurant Safely During COVID-19

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Current Events. One of the many adverse sectors adversely impacted by Covid-19 is the restaurant industry. Proprietors have been able to reopen with specific safeguards in place and adapting as time progresses. The following contributed post is entitled, Opening Your Restaurant Safely During COVID-19.

* * *

There are some places in the world that are opening their restaurants and cafes and trying to get back to normal. In the current pandemic climate, opening the doors to anywhere to “get back to normal” doesn’t feel possible. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do as a restaurant owner to make sure that your restaurant is COVID safe. The problem is that people are being given mixed signals by the government about what to do.

As a business owner, you want people to feel comfortable coming into your establishment, which means that you need to do everything that you can to show them that you are confident about your service and how you are handling the pandemic. Most people will find that they won’t eat in restaurants at this time, and ideally, you will be offering a delivery service to keep business afloat. If not, it’s time to offer this as a service and appeal to the masses. Other than this, here are some things that you can do to stay safe with your restaurant opening at this time.

Image Source: Pexels

Offer Outdoor Seating
If you have the space and the permission, one of the best things that you can do to show people that you are minimizing risk is to open seating outdoors. The risk of contracting the virus is lower outdoors, and there can be more space between tables if you have a garden or front yard space to fill with tables and chairs. You could always keep it bistro-style, too, where the tables outside are for those with a coffee and a pastry rather than full dinners. Advertise this service online, so that people coming to your establishment know that there are options to not be cooped up inside.

Arrange A Booking-Only Policy
It’s nice to pop into a restaurant without a booking, but with a pandemic, it will be better for your business to have people only allowed in if they book in advance. When they do this, you can plan the seating better to keep people socially distanced. Offer a texting service, too, so that people who have a booking can be reminded the day before.

Set Up Hand Sanitizer Stations
Outside the restaurant, encourage patrons to use hand sanitizer. Add some to the bathrooms and have an indoor station for on the way out of the restaurant, too. Don’t allow staff to wear gloves, as these can transfer bacteria when they’re not changed after every use.

Invest In Cleaners
You can ask that your current cleaning company is retrained to handle the deeper clean that COVID demands, but you can also hire professionals. Commercial cleaners like HOODZ need to be on standby to do the deeper clean in the kitchen, and you will be able to guarantee to your patrons that you are meeting all health regulations in the light of this pandemic. They should come in frequently to ensure the kitchens are up to cleaning standards at all times. You must be strict about this and include it in your budget.

Offer Masks To Staff
While your patrons do not have to wear masks while they eat, your staff absolutely do. Wait staff and kitchen cooks need to have masks on so as to avoid transmission of any bacteria. It also ensures that people feel confident eating in your restaurant. If they can visibly see that you are taking the pandemic seriously, they are more likely to recommend your site.

Ensure Good Ventilation
The bigger the space, the better the ventilation in the premises. Remove some tables to create that space if necessary. This will give people more room and they won’t be elbow to elbow with people at the next table over.

Promote Social Distancing
Where possible, guests need to be far apart from each other. Whether you are inside or outside with your restaurant, create enough space for social distancing to be possible. While this pandemic is still happening, you need to think of everything that you can do to stick by the rules as set forth by the health ministers.

You want to continue to set an example for your customers as much as possible. Business continuity is so important, and you can ensure that people are comfortable with your approach and set a good example for the community, too. Your business needs to be seen to play by the rules – and it will keep everyone safe when you do.

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct Examiner.com, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.