The number one concern of any business owner at this time is the health and safety of their customers and employees. Though officials are encouraging social distancing to help limit the spread of the virus, this is difficult in an industry that traditionally relies on bringing people together. Below are best practices for inside your restaurant, both for dine-in as well as delivery and pickup.

Reduce the risk
inside your restaurant

Whether your restaurant is still open to dine in customers or not, there are many actions you can take to help increase the safety of your staff and customers.

Clean regularly & educate on cleaning: Keeping clean has always been a big part of the restaurant industry and COVID-19 just makes it that much more important. One important distinction often pointed out by the CDC is the need to both clean and sanitize in order to protect against the virus. The EPA released this list of disinfectants to use against the disease that causes COVID-19. Add hand sanitizing stations and frequently wipe down anything that is handled by multiple people, such as card readers, menus, and check holders.

Create physical barriers: The OSHA guidance on workplace safety encourages increasing ventilation rates and adding barriers between workstations, such as plastic sneeze guards.

Create space: Reduce the number of tables to create more space between customers. Also eliminate any common area, self-serve items like condiments or silverware and instead hand these items out individually.

Adjust payment practices: If possible, eliminate the need for customers to pass their credit cards back and forth for payment. Consider setting up a single location where people come to pay their bills instead of delivering checks to each table.

Best practices for
delivery and pick-up

In an increasing number of locations across the country, delivery or pick-up is the only way restaurants can serve their customers. Here are a few things you can do now to make sure this is as safe as possible.

Encourage hand washing: When couriers and pick-up customers enter your restaurant, encourage them to sanitize or wash their hands when they enter, and provide signage to direct them to the bathroom.

Tamper-evident labeling: Consider adding tamper-evident labeling to your take-out packaging so that the end consumer can be assured that the product hasn’t been tampered with since leaving your restaurant.

Utilize curbside pick-up: If your location allows it, encourage both delivery drivers and pick-up customers to wait in their car and have a member of your staff bring the order out to them. This will help limit exposure to your staff, your customers and the drivers. You will likely need to create additional signage outside your restaurant to let people know what is happening.

The National Restaurant Association has created this fact sheet in both English and Spanish with basic guidance to follow. OSHA has also released guidance on how to prepare your workplace.