It’s essential moving forward that restaurant operators need to have the foresight to pivot with the ebb and flow of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, in order to foster restaurant reopening, it’s not only imperative to follow proper guidelines set by the CDC, but to also be on the alert for safety protocols and updates that are essential for keeping employees and the public safe.
Many have continued take-out service after regular operations have resumed. It’s essential that third party food delivery drivers, as well as, food and beverage suppliers be aware of each establishment’s internal safety distance requirements. As services begin to normalize, there will be an increase in hired employees. Employees may be servicing guests with proper safety and hygiene procedures, but might have a propensity to be more relaxed with their standards when congregating amongst themselves in busser stations, bar wells, break-rooms, or outdoor smoking areas. It’s necessary to continue with proper mask-wearing and distancing protocols.
As customers begin feeling more and more comfortable about going out and dining, volumes will increase during busy times; however, there will be less seating and longer wait times. Operators may have best practices in place within the restaurant and its employees, but with long wait times, customers can form large conversation groupings and not wear masks or practice safe distancing. Seating arrangements outside for waiting guests should also be safely spaced. Unsupervised clientele outside can lead to spread of the virus which in turn can cause a contamination outbreak within the restaurant regardless of whether all safety protocols are being followed. It is recommended to have a dedicated roaming employee striking friendly conversation and reminding waiting guests of proper safety precautions. In summary, it’s not always about what’s going on inside the establishment’s dining room, as it’s easy to overlook employee co-mingling behaviors and patrons in oversized groups waiting outside your doors.
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