Safe Restaurant Reopening

Finally! Restaurants are now able to open their doors for outdoor and, in some cases, indoor dining. Even though the doors are now open, customers are still a little apprehensive about dining out.

It’s important to keep the charm and atmosphere of your restaurant while keeping it safe under the current circumstances. A study showed that 63% of consumers would rather spend money on a restaurant experience than spend money shopping at a store. Consumers want dining experiences still, but will only go out if safety measures are put in place.

So how can you still provide the restaurant experience customers are looking for, while also keeping them safe from COVID-19? Here are a few tips on how to update your restaurant and keep people coming back again and again:

Masks are the new normal. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. To make customers feel safe when dining out all staff and customers should be wearing masks. This comes with its complications of course, but overall, it will make customers feel safe and help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Now you may be thinking, how do customer’s wear a mask and eat at the same time? Of course, this is not possible, and their mask will be removed when eating, but if the customer gets up to use the restroom or to leave the restaurant, they should be putting their mask back on.
Disposable Face Mask
Germs Be Gone Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer should be placed on every table. This encourages healthy hygiene and ensures that the customer will feel safe after touching menus, chairs, silverware, etc. when dining out. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective. Sanitizing dispensers can be set up in different areas of the restaurant to ensure the customer is able to clean their hands in any area of the restaurant, not just when they are sitting at their table. Dispensers near the front door and bathrooms are great additions to have. Learn more about the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
Germs Be Gone Hand Sanitizer
Signs educating your customers about new policies and expectations are very important and should be placed in clear locations around your restaurant. We recommend reminding customers about hand washing and hygiene, wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart and overall social distancing when possible. Learn more about the right signage to use to keep everyone safe.
Please Practice Social Distancing Sign
Rolling Acrylic Shield
Limit your seating capacity for both indoor and outdoor space. Keeping tables at least 6 feet apart will reduce the number of people employees and guests come in contact with. Consider using rolling shields as dividers between tables in areas with less space. Cleaning and sanitizing all tables after each use will decrease the spread of the virus. Disposable, one-time use menus are a great way to reduce germs, but if you don’t have disposable menus make sure to wipe down and disinfect menus after each use. If guests seat themselves after ordering, place a small sign on each table indicating if a table is clean, and have guests flip the sign over when they are done with their meal to show that the table needs to be sanitized.
Rolling Acrylic Shield

These are the main tips that will help get customers through your doors, but make sure to also go above and beyond for your customers. Updating your website and social media is a great way to keep everyone informed about your reopening, as well as letting customers know your expectations of them dining at your restaurant. Adding to your website that you are open for outdoor dining or take out will help reduce confusion and increase customer satisfaction. Reach out to your customers and community and ask what kind of adjustments and updates they want to see in restaurants. What will make them take that final step and dine out again? Knowing your customers and learning what will make them comfortable is the best way for your restaurant to be successful.

Sources

1. “Considerations for Restaurants and Bars.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 June 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/business-employers/bars-restaurants.html. Accessed 15 July 2020.

2. Russo, Thomas A. “How to Lower Your Coronavirus Risk While Eating out: Advice from an Infectious Disease Expert.” CNN, Cable News Network, 8 June 2020, www.cnn.com/travel/article/coronavirus-safety-restaurants-wellness/index.html. Accessed 15 July 2020.

3. “National Restaurant Association Issues Guidance for Restaurants Readying to Reopen.” National Restaurant Association, 23 Apr. 2020, www.restaurant.org/articles/news/association-issues-reopening-guidance. Accessed 15 July 2020.

4. “National Statistics.” National Restaurant Association, 2020, www.restaurant.org/research/restaurant-statistics/restaurant-industry-facts-at-a-glance. Accessed 15 July 2020.