Lessen COVID restaurant risks with these safety steps
Operating a food service business already comes with certain risks, but during this pandemic, COVID restaurant risks are particularly heightened. Your coverage through Arrowhead’s Tribal program offers comprehensive property coverage; general, liquor and professional liability, plus workers’ benefits.
Here are a few ways to help prevent COVID restaurant risks for your café, deli, diner, gourmet restaurant or food service business, courtesy of Zurich:
Physical distancing helps prevent COVID restaurant risks
- Add floor markings or physical barriers for patrons entering the restaurant, for social distancing at or around the hostess stand and waiting area.
- Rearrange placement of tables to accommodate physical distancing requirements.
- Add outdoor seating where permitted.
- Remove seating at the bar to accommodate physical distancing requirements.
- Limit restroom occupancy.
- Observe physical distancing requirements in the kitchen and service bar areas:
- Revise food preparation operations that may affect production or quality.
- Limit the maximum number of employees allowed in service area at one time.
- Restrict kitchen access to non-kitchen employees.
- Revise protocols for servers to ensure appropriate physical distancing:
- Tables set-up at a minimum of 6-foot distances
- Face coverings worn as required
- Use of electronic or other methods of menu ordering
- If the restaurant is continuing curb-side pick-up after opening of dining operations,
- Discuss any changes to procedures since reopening
- Has the pick-up location been changed since reopening? Discuss changes.
- Adjust the practices for the receiving of products from third party vendors to ensure physical distancing requirements
Related: Food safety during COVID-19
Adjust policies for the workplace
- Conduct formal training for all employees on new policies such as entry and exit procedures, cleaning and disinfecting program, physical distancing and interacting with patrons.
- Train all employees on new policies and procedures for
- Any state-specific requirements related to COVID-19
- Handwashing and sanitizing policy
- Use of face coverings
- Determine policy for use of protective gloves; require gloves for all food handling personnel
- Required PPE use and how to wear/remove PPE (and ensure adequate supplies of all PPE)
- New requirements pertaining to employee dining areas, break areas and locker rooms
- Food safety program
- Liquor liability controls and program
- Entry and exit of building
- Illness reporting
- Cleaning and disinfecting protocols
- Adjustments physical distancing
- Patron interactions
- Advise any vendors or contractors of all new policies and requirements.
- Signage at host stand/entrance indicating any rules or requirements for entry
- Occupancy signage for restrooms
- Occupancy signage for kitchen and back of house areas
- Handwashing signage in all restrooms and employee areas
Related: 5 Steps to preventing restaurant injuries and illness
Cleaning & disinfecting crucial to minimizing COVID restaurant risks
- Ensure availability of all cleaning supplies
- Train all employees on new cleaning and disinfecting protocols
- Cleaning and disinfecting of all tables, bar area and other surfaces after each use
- Frequent cleaning of other common areas and touch points
- Cleaning and disinfecting protocols/enhancements for kitchen and back of house service areas
- Use of EPA approved cleaning products
- Develop cleaning and disinfecting protocols consistent with CDC, local health or National Restaurant Association guidelines
- Completion of health questionnaire for employees, contractors and vendors when entering the property
- Temperature screening of employees, vendors and contractors (if required)
- Employee illness reporting requirements
This article originally appeared on Arrowhead’s corporate blog. It has been updated and modified to better fit the needs of our Tribal producers and their customers.