Restaurants and Cafes are Open – Here are the New Corona-virus Rules for Dining Out
Like other social institutions, restaurants and cafes have been badly hit by the outbreak of coronavirus. An impact of the pandemic on restaurant and cafe establishments is the halting of dining in activities. Restaurants and cafes were either shut down or limited to offering takeaway services. However, the ban on businesses within the hospitality industry was lifted on July 4. Operations can resume, but in accordance with some rules.
The ease of restriction does not mean that everything will return to its pre-lockdown phase. New rules will guide operations in restaurants and cafes. These rules include social distancing and capacity limits, partitions between tables using screen dividers, use of disposable menus, and many more.
Here’s a rundown of new rules for dining out safely in restaurants and cafes:
- Registration guidelines
Customers visiting restaurants have to register their contact details. A restaurant or cafe must keep the customers details for 21 days. This is in case there is an outbreak in that venue, and there is need for contact tracing. Details can be taken from a person per group. Relevant details that should be provided are names and phone numbers. Owners can also note arrival time and period of stay of them. Besides, people should visit restaurants and cafes in their household groups.
- Entry guidelines
Restaurants and cafes should manage the length of queues. This reduces the risk of disruption for businesses that are close to each other. Besides, as customers approach the premises of restaurants and cafes, they should find a clear signage on hygiene. These signs should inform and remind people to wash their hands or add sanitising penguins to the front of the reception area to ensure guests anti-bac their hands before entering the restaurant and maintain distance.
Inside the restaurants and cafes should see the following changes:
- Live performances are not permitted.
- Play areas delegated for children should be closed.
- Ordering drinks at the till and propping up the bar are prohibited.
- Only table service will be permitted.
- Contactless payments via apps like Stripe, Paypal, Sage Pay and many more. encouraged.
- Keeping safe
Amongst other rules, there are hygiene rules applying to staff in restaurants and cafes. Shift and timings should be cut short for staff to ensure that the number of people in the building is low. Other tips to ensure include:
- Staff should come into the building separately. This will reduce congestion in entrances.
- Kitchen staff should not mingle with each other during breaks to limit the risk of transmission.
- Only one person should access areas such as freezers, fridges, and walk in pantries.
- Restaurants and cafe doors should be open especially during cleaning, so cleaners do not touch handles frequently.
- Background TVs and music should be muted. This will prevent a case where people have to lean in to converse.
- Surfaces should be wiped in between customer use for the safety of both visitors and staff.
- Staff must wash their hands before holding plates and cutlery.
- Visitors should book tables in advance.
- Replacing the small hand sanitizer placed at the entrance by foot-operated liquid and gel automatic hand Sanitizer Dispenser that are easy to use, refillable and reduce the risk of direct touching of any surfaces.
- Introducing wash stations in the prominent spaces of your restaurant or hotel spaces can encourage cleaning your hands before eating food, or after touching surfaces etc without having to go into the bathroom frequently and overcrowding them.
- Having an online ordering/delivery/payment system in place:
Unsure how the times can turn out, restaurants and hotel businesses must have a proper online system to make sure goods and eatables are delivered to customers with ease and minimising human interaction and maintaining social distancing. Having a takeaway system where your customers have the flexibility to order/pay online and opt for eating their order at a much safer place.
- Consider expanding the product mix of your restaurant business:
If you are a business that only focuses on delivering food, introduce some beverage options too if you only sell shakes and juices consider providing some eatable options too. Associating with local business for raw materials like farm produce and other products is also an amazing way to support other small businesses in this pandemic. Consider selling important necessities like sanitizers, masks, gloves etc which also shows that your business promotes health protocols and also cares about their customers safety.
- Maintaining records of visitors and staff health and any travel history:
Since the lockdown has been slowly removed, there has been a lot of moment and human activity both inter and intrastate, further increasing the risk to exposure. If you are a hotel, it is mandatory to keep a record of your guest’s health and maintain records of the travel history of the customers as well make sure your staff health is properly monitored. Frequent temperature checks, monitoring overall employee health, strict sanitization by everyone are rules that must be practised.
Also, restaurants and cafes have been mandated to work with local authorities to consider making additional bike racks and car parking spaces so people can visit without using public transport.
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