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.

Dine-In Precautions

  • 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.
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