How to Make Your Restaurant Safe – There are several factors that can have an unforeseen impact on the success of a restaurant, including examples such as the pandemic of 2019-20. Because the restaurant industry was tremendously affected at that time, this may now be the perfect time to refresh your understanding of current regulations, retrain your staff, if needed, and consider ways in which your restaurant can protect your customers and staff using updated and effective tools for safety.
As a result of changes in recent years, state governments and most regional and local entities have endorsed or placed new safety regulations into practice for restaurants. All of these changes suggest this is the perfect time to consider how you can examine or reexamine your restaurant practices to ensure it is safe and prepared with the latest food safety protocols and safe food handling practices.
In this article, we will examine specific ways in which you can examine your restaurant for cleanliness, train your staff in new safety protocols, and reassure your customers that you are dedicated to their well-being and health when eating in your restaurant.
In order to ensure that your restaurant is a safe environment for everyone, you will want to consider incorporating a comprehensive health and safety policy into your business plan. For an extensive and effective overall business plan that includes your health and safety policy, use this business plan template restaurant for guidance.
How to Make Your Restaurant Safe for Customers and Staff
Establish Safety Protocols
Establishing safety protocols for employees and customers is critical to ensuring a safe and healthy environment at your restaurant. All new team members will need to be trained in proper hygiene practices, such as washing hands regularly, disinfecting surfaces regularly, wearing protective gear where necessary, and notifying management of any symptoms or illnesses they may have. Additionally, you’ll want to examine the seating plan in your restaurant to ensure that customers are not crowded together, and adjust seating arrangements, if needed, to ensure the recommended amount of space between tables and chairs is appropriate and comfortable for your patrons.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) is a good step toward ensuring your restaurant is a safe environment for employees and customers. PPE helps to reduce the spread of viruses by providing a physical barrier between people in close contact, such as when serving or interacting with customers. Examples of PPE include gloves, aprons, and hair coverings, when needed. All team members can be trained to meet local food handler safety protocols and staff who wait upon customers can be trained to handle plates, cups and silverware appropriately.
Kitchen team members should know safety protocols and hold certifications, if required. Common protocols include knowing and confirming correct refrigerator temperatures, use of disinfectants on counters, proper cleaning of kitchenware, and other issues related to food handling and safety overall.
Enhance Cleanliness and Sanitation Practices
Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment in your restaurant is crucial for protecting both employees and customers from the spread of germs and bacteria. This can be achieved through regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces; such as door handles, tables, chairs, countertops, restrooms, and other areas where patrons may come into contact with germs. Additionally, provide antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer for both customers and team members. In doing so, you will create a safe environment that customers can trust, which leads to comfort and enjoyment while dining in your restaurant.
Implement New Methods of Ordering and Payment
Contactless ordering and payment methods allow customers to place orders and pay without having to come in close contact with staff or other patrons. By using technology to enhance the customer experience, your restaurant can reduce exposure to germs for your team members, reducing employee absences, as well. Technology, such as Apple pay, also reduces the time spent handling cash payments, which creates a winning scenario for both patrons and team members.
An advantage to using data from technologically-led forms of ordering or payment is that your restaurant will be able to collect some basic data of your customers. This data provides a way to interact with your customers, as you can offer special menu items, discounts and other promotional offers for being valued clients at your restaurant. With so many benefits associated with implementing a contactless ordering and payment method, it is easy to understand why so many restaurants have made the change and stepped into technology-led partnerships for ordering systems and payments.
It is important for restaurants to take the necessary steps to ensure that your premises are safe and healthy environments for customers and staff. By establishing safety protocols are met, providing personal protective equipment (PPE), enhancing cleanliness and sanitation practices, and implementing technology-assisted ordering and payment systems, your business can create a secure space where patrons will relax, enjoy and feast on fabulous food for years to come.