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Health & Safety Guidelines For Reopening Your Bar or Restaurant

COVID Resources - June 30, 2020 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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As locations are reopening, restaurant owners are getting back into the swing of things and learning new procedures and protocols set in place by local governments.

Here at Sculpture Hospitality, we have been working hard to share tips to help get your restaurant and staff ready for when guests arrive again. However, one thing we’ve only briefly touched on is the health and safety procedures you need internally, including the cleanliness of equipment, appliances and managing of stock.

In this article, we will be focusing on health and safety inside your restaurant and bar, as well as some additional measures that may need to be implemented if they aren’t already.

Keep an Eye on Employee Health and Hygiene

Whether they are interacting with your guests or working in the kitchen, it is imperative that all staff monitor their own personal health closely, adhere to strict hygiene measures and call in if they aren’t feeling 100%. Assign all employees to set shifts for the time being - this will help you monitor staff and guest health easier than if they were set to work different shifts daily.

We know that there are some that will continue to work even if they are feeling under the weather. For this reason, all employees must be screened prior to their shift starting. If a staff member has a fever or doesn’t meet hygiene standards you are permitted to send them home. For those with a fever, you can tell the employee that they need to self-isolate for your region's required period of time and take the appropriate action as recommended by health authorities.

Stay in constant communication with your staff - they must be open about whether they or someone they have been in contact with has been in contact with another who has the pandemic. This is important information to monitor since people are able to carry the disease yet not show symptoms. If an employee has been in contact then they must self isolate and monitor symptoms.

For more information on staff health and hygiene, we highly recommend that you download the Reopening Guide from the National Restaurant Association. It contains information that can help any bar and restaurant owner through the trials and tribulations of reopening their doors while making sure they are keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Keeping it Real… and Clean

When it comes to the cleanliness of your restaurant or bar, it’s time to up the ante. Cleaning and sanitizing of your establishment needs to be done more frequently than before with no areas missed. Here are a few cleaning and sanitizing tips to include in your overall cleaning process:

Before you open your doors, clean the entirety of your bar or restaurant top to bottom. Even if you cleaned everything when you shut down, you need to keep in mind that you’ve been shut down for quite a few weeks. Dust, bacteria and other particles have formed over this time and need to be fully removed from all surfaces and appliances, including ovens, fryers, draft systems and more.

Once open, be sure that staff are cleaning and sanitizing surfaces thoroughly, frequently and effectively. Provide your staff with cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for them to follow to ensure that everything is cleaned properly. The Reopening Guide includes a section on best practices for cleaning and disinfecting that you can use and implement into your processes.

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 stock, plates, food, etc. Before a staff member touches anything they should sanitize or wash their hands to help contamination. They should always avoid touching their face, eyes, nose or mouth if they haven’t recently washed their hands. If they do touch any part of their face, they should sanitize their hands immediately.

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, utensils or deli tissue. For more information about food safety refer to these 4 steps.

There is a lot of helpful information in the Reopening Guide, and we recommend downloading it as a reference while you are creating your health and safety processes for your staff.

If you have any questions about reopening or need assistance to get your inventory ready for when you open the doors please reach out. As this new phase begins, we would like to offer our assistance to help each step of the way. Or even if you’ve already opened and want to ensure you are maximizing your margins, we are here to help