Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an alert with safety tips for restaurants and food/beverage businesses to protect their workers from coronavirus exposure as they move to meet the demand for curbside pickup and takeout services. As an owner of a restaurant or food business that is shifting towards greeting guests and offering takeout, it is essential to not only keep a safe and clean environment for the customers but for your team too.
The pandemic has taught us the need to be more thorough in our cleaning and more stringent with our safety practices. Keeping your team healthy and happy is essential to survive this challenging time.
How Food Businesses Can Stay Safe During COVID-19
Whether your business has always offered curbside pickup or takeout or has just implemented this service since COVID-19, it is essential you take essential steps to protect your team.
- Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick
If your employees feel ill or have a fever or a cough, encourage them to stay home. If possible, request that they take a COVID-19 test if they are showing symptoms. When working in the hospitality industry, it is better to be safe than sorry. Do not put pressure on your team to show up for work if they are ill, as this can only spread from employee to employee as well as give customers a negative experience.
- Avoid direct contact
When a customer comes to pick up their food, whether in the restaurant or via curbside pickup in their car, encourage your team not to directly pass them their food or beverages. If possible, place the food on a tray from which the customer collects it. Wear gloves and remember to sanitize as frequently as possible.
- Make your services clear
During this time, many businesses are offering extra services and have individual practices on how customers should stay safe. Put clear signs out for customers so that they understand your services available (takeout, curbside pick), how to pick up food, and your current hours of operation. This way, your team is not approached often with questions.
- Reserve parking spaces near the front door for curbside pickup only
Make it easy for customers to pick up their food and exit easily by reserving the first few spots in the parking lot for these services. It also makes for an easier and more pleasant experience for the customers who do not want to cross a busy parking lot with lots of people. Encourage customers to pay ahead of time by phone or online.
- Encourage workers to wear masks
Prevent the spread of the virus by having each employee wear a face covering throughout their entire shift. This prevents the spread of potentially harmful germs. Ensure that all face masks cover the nose and mouth. For a more professional feel, supply face masks in a solid color.
- Maintain social distancing
When possible, practice sensible social distancing by maintaining six feet between co-workers and customers. Make it easy for everyone by marking out six-foot distances with floor tape in pickup lines. You may need to temporarily move workstations to create more distance. If possible, install plexiglass partitions.
- Routinely clean
All surfaces, buttons, and workstations should regularly be sanitized with an appropriate cleaner. Encourage the use of hand sanitizer and provide alcohol-based rubs that are at least 60% alcohol.
Businesses should take these precautions when opening back up and when offering curbside pickup during these challenging times. A bit of care now can protect your team and customers.
ABOUT RMS Insurance Brokerage, LLC
At RMS Insurance Brokerage, LLC, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom-tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (516) 742-8585.