As you prepare for and begin your reopening, there are several important elements to include in your plan. You should have a checklist of tasks that should be completed – many of which deal with sanitation, product and equipment checks. We have included a comprehensive list of items that you can include on your checklist. We know that every operation is unique, so we encourage you to use our list as a beginning point and then add to and adapt it as appropriate for your business. Once your checklist items are complete, you can introduce the most important part of your plan – your staff, and train them on any new policies and procedures that you will implement to achieve your mission of operating a safe and successful operation.
Before you get to our checklist, we are providing some thoughts & ideas for you to consider as you embark on reopening.
Evaluate the changes that need to be made to your business to accommodate health department/CDC guidelines
Evaluate staffing needs – based on anticipated customer traffic and new positions needed to perform sanitation and safety.
Update floor plans for common dining areas, redesigning seating arrangements to ensure at least six feet of separation between table setups. Limit party size at tables to no more than the established “maximums approved” as recommended by CDC or approved by local and state government. Where practical, especially in booth seating, physical barriers are acceptable.
Consider a reservations-only business model or call-ahead seating to better space diners.
Eliminate self-service options (if applicable).
Post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 is to be permitted in the restaurant.
Limit contact between waitstaff and guests. Where face coverings are not mandated by state and local governments, consider requiring waitstaff to wear face coverings (as recommended by the CDC) if they have direct contact with guests.
If practical, place physical barriers such as partitions or Plexiglas barriers at registers.
Try not to allow guests to congregate in waiting areas or bar areas. Design a process to ensure guests stay separate while waiting to be seated. The process can include floor markings, outdoor distancing, waiting in cars, etc. Consider an exit from the facility separate from the entrance.
Determine ingress/egress to and from restrooms to establish paths that mitigate proximity for guests and staff.
Provide hand sanitizer for guests to use, including contactless hand sanitizing stations, and post signs reminding guests about social distancing. The sanitizer should be available as guests enter and exit your operation and the restrooms.
Where possible, workstations should be staggered so employees avoid standing directly opposite one another or next to each other. Where six feet of separation is not possible, consider other options (e.g., face coverings) and increase the frequency of surface cleaning and sanitizing.
Introduce or Promote take-out/curbside/delivery options.
Determine which delivery method to use (third-party or own staff).
If you are using your staff, put into place driving record checks for the drivers, insurance, and rules for the drivers to follow.
If providing a “grab and go” service, stock coolers to no more than minimum levels.
Deep/Complete Clean - thoroughly detail-clean and sanitize entire facility. Focus on high-contact areas that would be touched by both employees and guests. Do not overlook seldom-touched surfaces. Follow sanitizing material guidance to ensure it is at effective sanitizing strength and to protect surfaces.
Discard all food items that are out of date.
Where salad bars and buffets are permitted by local/ state officials, they should have sneeze guards in place. Change, wash and sanitize utensils frequently and place appropriate barriers in open areas. Alternatively, cafeteria style (worker served) is permissible with appropriate barriers in place.
Ensure the person in charge is ServSafe certified and that their certification is up to date and provide food handler training to refresh employees.
Foodservice CEO is provided for informational purposes only. It is intended to offer foodservice operators’ guidance regarding best practices in running their operations. Adherence to any recommendations included in this Guidance will not ensure a successful operation in every situation. Furthermore, the recommendations contained in this website should not be interpreted as setting a standard of operation or be deemed inclusive of all methods of operating nor exclusive of other methods of operating.
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