Reopening Your Restaurant: Important Steps to Take Post COVID-19
Reopening Your Restaurant: Important Steps to Take Post COVID-19
Are you considering reopening your doors again for the first time since restrictions regarding COVID-19 forced your business to close and send your staff home? If so, there are some important considerations to make and things to take into account. Even though you’re able to begin serving customers again, you’ll be operating under “new normal” circumstances, meaning it won’t be like it was before.
As one of today’s leaders in commercial kitchen equipment, the team from Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies knows that getting back into the swing of things isn’t easy, especially these days. You likely have a lot of questions about local regulations and the best way to keep your staff and customers safe, so we’ve collected some insight for you here.
Below, you’ll find some of the most important steps to take when reopening your business amidst the pandemic.
When it comes to reopening your business, there are some important measures you should take to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and other harmful germs and bacteria. As a restaurant owner, it’s your duty to take preventative measures to protect the staff and clients visiting your location.
Some of the most common preventative measures available include:
- Cleaning Your Restaurant from Top to Bottom: One of the most important things you should do before inviting staff and customers back into your restaurant is to give it a thorough cleaning. This will not only ensure that once you do open your doors your establishment looks its best, but also helps prepare your facility to be properly disinfected.
- Disinfect the Premises by Hiring a Professional: The best way to make certain that your restaurant is ready for business is to hire a cleaning company to provide disinfecting services throughout the facility. A reliable cleaning company will have the proper cleaning supplies and sanitation tools to ensure a job well done. Note that cleaning before disinfecting is key because it makes disinfection services more effective.
- Outfitting Your Location with the Proper Accessories: Those reopening their doors may want to rethink how they operate. For example, many restaurants reopening these days are investing in things like modular sneeze guards and other items to install in high-traffic areas to minimize contact and the unnecessary spread of germs. Mobile payment kiosks and wireless payment options are another way to reduce contact between staff and customers while still maintaining a high quality of service.
- Perform Regular Food Inspection & Rotation: Another way to take preventative measures, especially if your restaurant also has a grocery section or offers pickup and takeout services, is to regularly inspect food and rotate items as much as possible. Additionally, make certain that all of your food items in the front and back of your restaurant are properly labeled with rotation labels and organized into the right food storage containers. This helps prevent cross-contamination and the spread of germs.
In addition to implementing precautionary and preventative measures before opening your doors and serving customers again, there are also some important steps to take in terms of how your restaurant operates on a daily basis.
Here are a few tips that will help you ensure your operations run smoothly and everything is up to code:
1) Make sure all of your equipment is in working order and receives regular maintenance, especially things like electrical systems, cooking vents and hoods, and other components that could pose a safety issue.
2) Post clear signs addressing the COVID-19 situation, as well as protective measures and tips for stopping its spread. This will be beneficial to both staff as well as customers.
3) Keep all areas of your restaurant, especially restrooms and waiting areas, properly cleaned, disinfected, and stocked with all of the necessary sanitary items, including hand sanitizer for additional safety measures.
4) Make sure all of your restaurant’s ventilation systems are cleaned and working properly, including the filters. Regularly switching out air filters in your restaurant will minimize the spread of germs while also increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system.
5) Remove things like self-service containers and other high-contact items from display and use. This is essential to help minimize the spread of germs and keep staff and customers safe. If operating a dine-in establishment, make sure that every table is properly washed, cleaned, and sanitized after each customer.
This includes things like table cloths, disposable eating covers, linen napkins, throw rugs, and even items such as ketchup bottles, salt and pepper shakers, and menus.
Employee Screening and Protection
As a restaurant owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the people you hire to work in your restaurant are healthy and following the proper health and safety precautions. This will ensure that no one who patronizes your eating establishment is put at unnecessary risk.
So, what exactly can you do to screen your employees and protect other staff and clients?
- Ensure that your restaurant is following the proper guidelines and practices for employee health checks/screenings.
- Make sure there is a protocol in place being followed that checks both employee health as well as hygiene practices for your establishment. It’s important that such things have clear guidelines to avoid mistakes and confusion.
- Perform some research into the recommendations from your local and provincial governments for getting back to work.
- Do you have a plan in place should any of your employees become sick or miss an abnormal amount of work due to illness?
When it comes to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, one of the most effective ways aside from self-isolation is social distancing. But what exactly does social distancing entail when you reopen the doors of your restaurant? Well, it will involve a few different components, the first being making sure that you have taken the proper precautions for clearly illustrating the social distancing guidelines for your establishment.
It’s important to clearly install signage on your restaurant’s walls, throughout the establishment, on partitions, and even the sidewalk outside detailing the proper distance clients need to maintain. Every measure should be taken to minimize facial contact and keep a meter and a half of distance between staff, customers, and visitors.
Restricting the number of employees in shared spaces is another important social distancing component for restaurants. There should never be a situation nowadays where kitchen staff and working without any elbow room to keep up with customer demand; it’s unsafe and unsanitary. The meter-and-a-half rule still applies in all common areas, whether they’re at the front of the restaurant or in the back!
Another way to cut down on the spread of germs is to limit the number of self-serve options or buffet tables your restaurant offers. Salad bars, drink stations, and similar items should be limited if possible, to keep patrons safe and healthy.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Lastly, PPE should be worn by all staff members and required by those frequenting your restaurant to provide the most protection from germs possible, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other harmful viruses and bacteria.
Some of the most common forms of PPE include items like:
- Face Shields
- Cloth Coverings
- Disposable Gloves
- Plastic Table Dividers & Partitions
- Head Covers
- Shoe Covers
- & More
Let our team help you prepare for reopening your restaurant!
In addition to our sanitation equipment and cleaning supplies, Zanduco Restaurant & Supplies carries a wide inventory of kitchen equipment designed to improve the efficiency of your restaurant. Whether you own a pizza restaurant or a catering company, our team can help equip you with the right commercial kitchen equipment and accessories.
We carry refrigeration equipment, bar service and tableware products, material handling and storage solutions, as well as restaurant furniture. With more than 60 years of experience in the foodservice industry, the team from Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies has developed a reputation for offering some of today’s most innovative kitchen equipment at prices that can’t be beaten.
Furthering our commitment to offering the highest quality goods and services, we carry today’s most reliable brands, such as True, Globe, Garland, and Hobart. We also offer FREE shipping on select orders and items over $3,000.
To learn more about our extensive inventory or place an order, request a quote or call us today at 1 (855) 926-3826.