When most of the world is in lockdown the food chains decide to open up for dine-in. To do so they need to be sure of the safety of the customers and take actions to regain the confidence of customers and make them feel safer in the restaurant.
The National Restaurant Association has published a set of rules and guidelines for restaurants to follow for the safety of the restaurant workers and customers, while this pandemic continues. Once they follow the guidelines, there will be a lot of changes expected at the restaurants. There will be a lot of things we might not see again in order to maintain the standards given by the Association.
The National Restaurant Association has jotted down guidelines for employees’ health and hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, food safety, and social distancing. The restaurants will have to follow these guidelines along with the previous SOPs.
Employees should practice social distancing and wear facemasks and gloves all time. Therefore, they should keep on sanitizing their hands and must be clean.
Restaurants should get rid of all the food that has passed the expiry date. Sneeze guards should be kept near the salad bars. Utensils must be cleansed and sanitized properly and timely. The manager of the restaurant should be certified by ServSafe and should have a valid certificate to provide training to employees.
All the surface whether most touched or less touched by the employees and customers must be cleansed and sanitized carefully. While disinfecting does not disinfect the food contact surfaces. Unwrapped straws and lemons should not be kept on drink stations. All the reusable items must be sanitized. Restrooms must also be clean and sanitized timely. Hand sanitizers will be easily accessible for customers and should be touchless.
Employees who are not well should not come to work. Any employee who seems unwell will stay at home for 7 days and monitor symptoms. It is up to the restaurants if they want to take employees’ temperature before coming into the restaurant. Employees should wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer and avoid touching their faces.
Make arrangements for touchless hand sanitizers for your customers and remind customers about social distancing by placing some post signs. Do not make the waiting areas crowded. Employees will be asked to stand six feet apart from each other, practicing social distancing.
With all the new practices enforced by the authorities. We will have to let go of a few old practices at the restaurants.
The buzzing crowds and back to back dining tables will have to go away with the social distancing norm.
The ready tables with preset cutlery will be a sure miss for now. As exposure to likely contamination will result in low customer confidence on the house. Disposables will be the new dining experience as reusable cutlery may become a thing of the past.
The greens in the restaurants will no longer be visible on a decorated stand. As salad bars are a strict no. The kids will definitely miss the soda dispensers at popular fast-food chains as many assume that it may pose a risk to the safety of the diners.
Similarly, menu cards will progress from printed to washable or digital. QR based menu cards will replace the existing printed cards. Smartphones will scan these menu cards and help the customers to place an order all by themselves.
But all in all the dining experience will not be the same as ever. Since the whole point of eating with family and friends was going out. Consequently, the ease in lockout will make a lot of people head back to their favorite places. Let us hope their experiences are as memorable as ever.