Cleaning a restaurant, serving customers, getting the food out on time, and everything else that comes with a restaurant’s expectations have seen ample changes with the spread of COVID-19. Practically every part of eating out and ordering in has changed, and rightfully so. But restaurants need to reassure their diners that they are safe to eat at and eat from, and provide peace of mind that they are not adding to the ongoing pandemic that is still present in the U.S.
While the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t caused or transmitted through food here in the United States, the foodservice industry may feel its impact for a long time. Guests will expect a higher level of cleanliness, updated steps to ensure food safety, and a completely responsible experience all around.
Here are some immediate do’s and don’ts that restaurant operations can employ while the world continues to navigate the uncertainty we’re all in.
Do Clean Properly
Restaurants should be taking the proper steps to make sure the food, the dining area, the seating, and so forth are all cleaned and maintained to the highest standard, especially now. After the dust settles and the outbreak has gone, there may be a higher-than-normal rate of potential lawsuits from people looking to capitalize on different industries. In fact, diners are already curious about suing over contracting COVID-19 from a restaurant.
One way to ensure that a restaurant avoids potential legal trouble is to take Infection Prevention seriously through cleaning. While cleaning and disinfecting have always been important parts of a healthy eating and cooking environment, the emergence of COVID-19 emphasizes how critical each is for the months, even years, ahead.
Restaurants need to make sure they are instituting strict hand-washing protocols to stop the spread of germs in general. This is the best way to prevent both staff and guests from getting sick.
Next, restaurants should be sure to clean surfaces as best as possible by removing soils and food sources from surfaces. While cleaning does not entirely kill pathogens, it is the most vital part of the hygiene process.
Also, it’s important to disinfect touch points throughout a restaurant. This will kill pathogens on surfaces or objects and can lower the risk of spreading infection.
Don’t Ignore the Symptoms
The virus is spread mainly from person to person, so being sure that only healthy people are interacting with guests and preparing and delivering food is crucial. Restaurant owners and their leadership staff should be vigilant about being informed on how their staff are feeling. If anyone is feeling sick or showing any signs and symptoms of being sick, they should stay home.
For staff members who know someone who is exhibiting symptoms relative to COVID-19, they should be advised to monitor their health and stay home at the first sign of illness. A constant line of communication should be open between staff and supervisors to keep everyone informed about each other’s health.
By keeping an environment of awareness open, restaurants can limit exposure, panic, and the potential for person-to-person issues to take place.
Do Continue to Offer Takeout and Delivery
Some states are planning to open up their in-house dining options this month if they haven’t already done so. But while this can be a good sign that things are getting back to a state of normalcy, it will still be a long while before diners feel completely comfortable eating inside.
One way that restaurants can continue to serve their customers if by keeping their takeout and delivery options running. During the spread of COVID-19, the country has seen a major surge in takeout and delivery with people supporting their local food stops by ordering online or over the phone.
But if a restaurant is opting to open up these services or keep them going, they should make sure to continue to follow strict health guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. This means wearing gloves and masks at all times, not taking cash for payment, washing hands after taking care of every order, choosing to leave the food on the doorstep, and limiting customer interaction altogether.
About RMS Hospitality Group
At RMS Hospitality Group, 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 (888) 359-8390.
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