Social Distancing in Your Restaurant: Tips and Tricks
The way we eat, where we eat, and what we eat are all going to change as a result of COVID-19.
Early in March, the whole world virtually went into lockdown. Something that many of us wouldn’t have ever thought could have happened. People were encouraged to do almost everything in their own homes, and things that we took for granted like going to work, eating out and seeing friends all came to a halt as social distancing became the new norm.
As lockdown restrictions are easing people are beginning to head out for missed experiences that we haven’t been able to enjoy over the past few months.
In line with government regulations, how can restaurants stop the spread?
Social Distancing and Seating
State governments have all introduced different regulations to stop the spread, including the amount of people in each space and how many people can be seated together. Here are 5 things you can do in your restaurant to help keep us safe.
- Remove half the tables and chairs from your dining space to spread your customers out
- Restrict the amount of guests inside at one time, including those getting takeaway
- Get creative by using small greenhouses or table bubbles for your outside customers
- Create a reservation-only seating area to get rid of waiting customers standing together – there are plenty of online booking systems you can use!
- Seat smaller amounts of guests at larger tables to encourage social distancing. Try moving tables against the walls the create more space!
Following Cleaning and Sanitation Guidelines
Cleaning and sanitising your restaurant will help minimise the spread of germs. Follow these tips to introduce both a safer eating and preparation space in your restaurant:
- Designate and train your employees so you can have one or two people thoroughly cleaning surfaces including menus, seats, and condiemtns handles, doors, faucets, rails etc. in your restaurant space with disinfectant
- Install air purifiers around your establishment to help clean the air in circulation
- Set up hand sanitiser on entry for both customers and staff
- Have your bathrooms open for dine in customers only
- If you have a multiple cubicle bathroom, consider closing off the space so there is only one customer in there at a time
Social Distancing for Your Wait Staff
Look after your staff too! Most restaurants serving style has had to change dramatically so here is a few safe ideas your employees can follow to ensure they are safe when serving guests.
- Introduce non-contact food preparation methods to minimise the spread of germs from staff to customers
- Encourage customers and staff to wear masks when possible
- Allow wait staff to drop food at the end of the table to decrease contact with customers
- Utilise different staff for tasks to handle taking orders, delivering food and taking payment to ensure there is no cross contamination
- Encourage cash free payments
With Australia and the rest of the world slowly reopening, it’s time we all need to introduce new safety measures to minimise the spread and allow us to slowly get back to our full operation. Using some of these ideas will help us to follow government advice and regulations and to help keep each other safe, and get back to doing the things we love.