The restaurant business is one of the industries that has been affected the most from the Coronavirus outbreak. From lockdowns to curfews, every country has a different strategy for applying social distancing and restaurants are taking a big hit. OpenTable states that the restaurant occupancy in some cities of the US went down by 64% in just a week. Here are some tips to help you survive the pandemic as a business owner.
Serving Dine-In vs. Delivery/Takeout
More countries are applying strict rules on how restaurants can operate during the day. Majority of restaurants are shutting down dine-in and switching to delivery and takeout. This helps keep the social distancing active and employees & guests safer. There are some hygiene precautions that can be taken in each case to help reduce spreading the Coronavirus.
- Separate tables and make sure there is enough space between each table for a safe space.
- Allow a certain number of people inside including employees in order to maintain the 1 meter social distancing rule.
- Disinfect tables, menus, cutlery, seats and POS machines regularly, before and after serving each guest. Don’t forget the door handles, faucets and light switches to reduce contamination.
- Air out the venue regularly, especially after a rush hour four the safety of your staff and guests.
- Make sure that the staff is well equipped with masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and maybe even goggles!
- Check on the staff’s health status every day and remove them from service if there’s any risk of contamination.
- Encourage the staff to wash their hands regularly and disinfect with the material you provide.
- Place disinfectants on the tables and inside restrooms to encourage guests to sanitize their hands.
- Opt for cashless payment methods to reduce physical contact.
Delivery & Takeout Precautions
- Make sure that the food is packaged safely by a member of the staff who is wearing clean gloves and a mask and that the package is not opened again under any circumstance.
- Disinfect the delivery carriage with alcohol before and after every order.
- Encourage the delivery staff to wash their hands regularly and disinfect with alcohol.
- Take the payment online to reduce contact at delivery or pick-up.
- Set the pick-up station outside the restaurant so that people don’t have to go inside. You can even serve the takeout to the car at the door!
- Throw in an alcoholic wipe or a small hand sanitizer inside the bag to encourage your customers to clean their hands as well.
- Opt for a “leave at the door” policy for delivery and notify customers that their order has been delivered through Whatsapp or a phone call.
Delivery/Take Out in the Coronavirus Era
You have to make sure that everyone knows you are serving delivery or takeout without having to come to your doorstep.
- Send your menu to your regulars through Whatsapp or email to remind them that you are there for them even at their homes.
- Share your menu on social media accounts. Put the link on your Instagram bio and share it on your stories everyday.
- Accept orders through your social media accounts as well as Whatsapp and phone calls. Make sure to read every tweet and direct message so that you won’t miss any order.
- As it can be tricky to get hold of certain ingredients during the pandemic, make sure that your menu reflects only the items that you can serve at that time.