Operating a business is no easy task during a pandemic but if you follow these steps, safe takeout, pickup and delivery can look quite achievable.

As a food service business owner it’s more important than ever to stay on top of hygiene protocols and educate your staff members on the best ways to ensure the safety of your customers and themselves.

It can be concerning how easily Covid 19 is spread but it can be even easier to slow the spread by implementing a simple hygienic checklist in your restaurant.

First and foremost stay on top of cleaning and sanitation!

  • Create a schedule to systematically sanitize all frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Determine surfaces that aren’t cleaned as frequently like the register, the doors, pens and pencils etc. and ensure they are wiped down regularly.
  • Cleaners that contain an alcohol content of 60% or higher are necessary to kill the virus.

Clean up public areas and remove the clutter

  • Don’t leave any mints, candy or toothpicks out for people to touch.
  • Bring all dispensers with straws, napkins or condiments behind the counter and individually hand these out when requested.
  • Use digital or disposable menus where possible. If laminated menus are used, ensure they are wiped with a sanitizing solution after each use.

Don’t forget about the bathrooms!

  • Create a touch free environment as best as you can. That could mean propping the main door open, installing touch free soap and paper towel dispensers or faucets.
  • Of course don’t forget to keep the bathroom well stocked with sanitizer, soap, toilet paper, paper towel and even add wet wipes for stall door touching.
  • Just like the rest of the building, always clean and sanitize your bathrooms on a schedule.

A knowledgeable staff can make or break this system.

  • Your staff members are vital to your success as a business, so ensure they are properly trained and informed on new procedures.
  • This training could be in the form of regular meetings, a handout with information or simply by putting up signs with infographics on best practices in the workplace.
  • Provide your employees with access to masks, gloves, sanitizer and any other protective equipment that may make them feel more comfortable.
  • Make sure staff members know to stay home if they feel sick.

Regulate store entry and monitor path flow.

  • Create a capacity limit based on your restaurants ability to accommodate social distancing once inside.
  • Use tape or signage to instruct customers on walking direction and ordering/pickup zones.
  • If large waves of customers appear ensure there is a staff member dedicated to moderating customer flow, creating a line outside and distributing sanitizer or wet wipes to customers.

Provide a more convenient alternative to store entry.

  • Incentivise customers to call their orders in ahead of time and use curbside pickup.
  • Offer contactless delivery with protective seals used for bags of food.

We can prevent unnecessary spread of the virus if we all practice physical distancing paired with some simple hygienic procedures.

As Ontario moves forward with the slow reopening of businesses and restaurants it will be more important than ever to follow these steps to ensure the safest environment for your staff and customers.

Who knows, these extra measures could be here to stay for the unforeseeable future.

Most of the listed protocols are simply best practices for a restaurant to run smoothly and safely so implementing systems like these are always worth your while as a business owner.