Prepare Your Restaurant for a Safe Reopening (with FREE Reopening Checklist!)

As COVID restrictions ease and restaurants prepare to resume operations there are many factors which were once the norm that will need to be reconsidered and altered.

We have prepared an easy-to-follow Reopening Checklist focusing on health and safety inside your restaurant, as well as some additional measures that may need to be implemented if they aren’t already.

Restarting Commercial Kitchen Equipment

As many establishments have been shut for some months now, there is a real chance that some of your equipment could be damaged if it wasn’t correctly shut down. As you prepare to reopen, make sure you check your equipment is in working order and know who to call should you need commercial kitchen equipment repairs.

Once your catering equipment is up and running, you will need to conduct a deep clean before you use it. This is especially important is any systems you have that use water, there could be a risk of legionella. Your water system should be flushed through and disinfected – you may need specialist help for this. You should also use this opportunity to check for signs of pest infestation and any damage to any of your appliances and systems.

Social Distancing Measures

Perhaps one of the most hotly debated topics around restaurants and cafes reopening is that of how to enforce social distancing in dining areas. Ensure you rearrange or reduce customer seating to comply with social distancing mandates and if possible install privacy screens between tables.

Using clever technology like digital kiosks for self-service will limit interaction between staff and customers. Offering options such as online ordering on websites or apps (Delivery and/or Click & Collect) can further limit interaction between staff and customers.

Disposable Menus

Switch to paper disposable menus. It’s one item that every patron is going to touch and come into contact with. Help reduce bacterial spread between customers. Ditch the classy menu covers and opt for disposable ones for the time being.

Cutlery, Crockery and Glassware

Gone are the days of preset table placings! Cutlery, glassware and tableware should be stored away to prevent contamination and brought to the patron with their meal. When it comes to cleaning cutlery, crockery and glassware ensure you are using a commercial dishwashing machine that cleans at the highest temperatures for a prolonged contact time. This not only ensures that all items are sterilised but also reduces microbial buildup on surfaces.

Simplify and safe guard the entire process by cleaning in commercial cleaning racks which promote thorough circulation of water and quick drying inside the rack while the closed outer wall keeps fingers and containments out.

Think Before Touching

Not only is personal hygiene important for your staff, but with the easy transportation of the contagion, it is imperative that all staff think before they touch anything, whether it be produce, plates, food, cutlery etc.

When it comes to touching food, no one should be touching cooked, ready-to-serve food with their bare hands. They should always use single-use gloves and commercial grade utensils specifically designed to withstand heat and are dishwasher safe to facilitate ease of sterilisation.


Upon restarting, businesses have a serious public duty to act responsibly and do all they can to halt and prevent any further spread of the virus. Take a good look at your operation, identify what elements need to be changed and make a plan to keep your restaurant as safe as possible for your employees and customers.

With all that in mind, we wanted to lend you a helping hand. Our goal here is to make the process of reopening a restaurant as simple as possible for you, given all the other demands that come with restarting a business. So we’ve prepared a practical checklist to guide and assist you through it.


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