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You own and operate a restaurant. It’s not an easy line of work – the industry depends on consumer tastes and seasonal trends. But you know that when a town offers a variety of eatery options, it’s healthier. It’s at restaurants, cafes, bars and delis that relationships are forged, business gets conducted and memories are made. A community that shares experiences thrives and strives together. So when a pandemic interrupts how you contribute to your community, it gets a little tough. But it’s not as tough on the community as it is on you.

When you must temporarily close your restaurant, you feel pressure to consider alternatives and prepare to re-open quickly. Here are some ideas to help spark some ideas:

Different revenue streams - Your business might have alternative opportunities.
  • Use unused resources to prepare meals for local charities to feed no income families or school-aged children
  • Partner with youth organizations to offer take home meals as a fundraiser
  • Revise your menu for delivery or curbside services
New operations protocols – Creating a safe environment means updating your customer service protocols and employee safety procedures
  • Develop a response plan, including de-escalation techniques
  • Identify and enforce disinfecting protocol
  • Set up social distancing
  • Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) with instructions for how to use them properly
  • Identify and enforce safe food handling procedures
  • Establish daily self-screening procedures and expectations
  • Communicate with and train your employees
Customer protections – Your goal is to create a normal environment where customers feel comfortable and safe.
  • Create contactless order, payment and serving options
  • Limit the number of guests you serve at one time
  • Post signs that clearly state your personal protection policy (i.e. masks, capacity, directions and so on)
  • Reconsider guest traffic patterns
  • Set up dining space to safely social distance customers and wait staff, including outdoor seating options
  • Set up a waiting area that discourages guest clusters
Roles and responsibilities – Everyone plays a role in safety and success when it comes to restaurants.
  • Clarify roles and specify responsibilities (i.e. only bussers clear tables; hostesses only seat customers and handle water glasses and so on)
  • Identify a worksite supervisor to ensure employees appropriately apply and follow safety protocols
Host Station Wait Staff Busser Kitchen Staff
  • Disinfect and sanitize
  • Use disposable menus
  • Learn how to de-escalate
  • Disinfect and sanitize
  • Be polite and safe with customers
  • Disinfect and sanitize
  • Use disposable gloves
  • Disinfect and sanitize
  • Assign tools to individuals
  • Assign work areas within the kitchen