5 Uncommon Tips For A Safe Dining Experience In Your Restaurant
If you’re a restaurant, café, or pub owner you’ve probably read tons of restaurant guidelines for Covid-19. After all, in many cases, you’ll be required to know them so you can open your establishment again.
Still, despite your best efforts to comply with the Coronavirus safety measures, the foot traffic might still be relatively lesser than when there was no pandemic yet.
Of course, the main concern of people is if it’s safe to go out and eat. No one will be satisfied with a good meal if they feel their safety is at risk.
Well, technically, everything you do outdoors during the Covid-era is risky. But, some situations are riskier than others.
It’s in you to make the difference.
But what more can you do after you’ve practiced all the safety precautions in the books?
You’ve probably put up partitions, changed the seating layout, installed direction stickers, put up touchless payment options, and disinfected the tables and chairs after customers leave to heed the restaurant guidelines, especially those outlined by the CDC.
But there’s more you can do!
And this might be the first time you’ve heard about one or a couple of these practices. You might even find it bizarre!
But at the end of the day, no matter how unconventional these may seem, they can do a great deal in helping you regain your restaurant revenue.
Check these tips out!
Ask Waiters To Stand Behind The Customer As Much As Possible
No, we’re not trying to be rude.
If you go back to how the virus spreads, it’s when people breathe, cough, sneeze, or talk that they produce respiratory droplets. The more face-to-face interaction a customer and a waiter have, the riskier it gets for both of them.
After all, you don’t know who of them is sick or has just shown signs. In many cases, people don’t feel any symptoms at all so they might be unaware they are sick.
The less face-to-face interaction they have, the lesser the risk.
So before opening up your restaurant tomorrow, orient your employees on where to stand when entertaining and getting orders.
Tone Down The Music
I’m sure you’ll ask why so I won’t leave you with a question mark on your head.
You see, for customers dining in with others, they’ll most likely be talking to each other. These people are not always of the same household so they could have interacted with more people outside the circle before coming in to eat.
Who knows if anyone they interacted with before the meet had the virus.
To keep them safe from each other, lowering the background music volume will help.
When the music is loud, people tend to talk louder. When they do, they’ll be emitting more respiratory droplets. If they have the virus, they've produced enough droplets to be spread in the air to get others infected.
Eureka moment anyone?
Don’t Offer Condiments
Well, unless they ask for it. If they do, provide them with single-serve condiments like in packets.
Usually, condiments are in a bottle placed in the middle of the table. This makes it a common contact point for every person dining at that table.
Again, no one knows who has the virus, even if you do a thermal check before they’re let in. Not every person with Covid-19 gets a fever you know.
To make it safer for all those dining, provide them condiments enough for one use just when they ask for it.
If you think about it, it’s even economical for you. Only customers who need it will ask for it.
Plus, it’s less cleaning for your staff, they won’t have to disinfect condiment bottles after every use.
Direct The Air Conditioner Away
How does that help?
Well, since the virus is airborne, it can easily be transmitted to others especially if there’s wind blowing.
If you shift the air conditioning blades, the airflow won’t be directly routed to people in the same direction as the airflow. It lessens the chance of transferring the virus from an infected person to one that doesn’t have it yet.
If you’ve read the Los Angeles Times article, a person got infected after 5 minutes from a Covid positive customer 20 feet away because they're in one air flow route.
Here’s a more detailed study from the Journal of Korean Medical Medicine.
The next time you turn the air conditioning on, check the blades first. And turn in upwards if need!
Install At Least 4 Sanitizer Stations
That’s too many!
It’s actually not. You need sanitizer stations for at least 4 strategic locations.
First, the entrance. You’ll want customers from the outside to not bring viruses and germs in. You don’t know what they’ve touched prior to coming in so to keep the inside surfaces as virus-free as possible, every person coming in should have their hands sanitized.
Second, near the cashier. There’s a high chance of contact by the employee and the client when paying up.
Plus, cards and cash are valuable but dirty. To kill the germs immediately after holding them, you’ll get to have customers’ hands sanitized right after the transaction.
Third, the kitchen entrance. Food servers come in and out of the place. Going out of the kitchen, they’ll be exposed not just to Covid, but also to bacteria like E.Coli.
You want to keep the food as safe as possible as well as those who prepare them. To limit the germs brought from the outside, a sanitizer stand should be placed near the kitchen entrance door.
Fourth, where the disinfecting tools are kept. Today, tables and chairs are disinfected after every customer uses them so the next people using them will not contract anything from the previous customers.
But think about it:
If any of the previous customers had the virus, those cleaning the place are the first ones in danger, especially if they have to change linens.
So after cleaning, they too must disinfect themselves, and that’s why you need it in the disinfecting tools storage. They’ll put back the equipment they used after cleaning and they can immediately sanitize after.
Some, if not all of these practices might be new to you. But again, it can help you keep your restaurant as safe as possible.
When you open your restaurant tomorrow, this should be on your Covid safety guidelines, no matter how bizarre doing these might look.
If it keeps everybody safer from Covid-19, why not, right?