Moving Forward: Restaurants & COVID-19
As we approach the summer, many restaurants are beginning to plan for a gradual return to normal operations. We have compiled a list of some key considerations and best practices – particularly those related to management responsibilities, food
safety, sanitation, health monitoring, and social distancing.
- Make sure that a designated person in charge is on site at all times during operating hours.
- Train employees on any newly established guidelines (in addition to the routine training program); make sure to keep a training log on file.
- Ensure that the person in charge of the facility is a certified food safety manager.
- Discard all food items that are out of date.
- Place appropriate barriers in open areas to reduce physical contact between employees and guests.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Maintain rigorous cleaning and sanitizing procedures and practices.
- Between seatings, clean and sanitize all common touch areas and surfaces.
- Schedule mandatory training that covers all required disinfecting and cleaning practices; keep a record of the material covered and who all attended the session(s).
- Maintain a daily cleaning log.
Employee Safety & Health Monitoring
- Sick Employees
- Make it clear that employees who are sick must stay home; include in training and ongoing employee communication.
- If an employee becomes ill while at work, follow current Centers for Disease Control guidance: immediately send the employee home. The employee should self-isolate for ten days from the onset of symptoms and be symptom-free for three days without medication before returning to work.
- Hand Washing
- Train all employees on the importance of frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content, and give them clear instruction to avoid touching hands to face.
- Protective Equipment
- Wear a mask or face covering.
- Follow local health department guidance on the proper use of additional Personal Protective Equipment (i.e. gloves).
- Update floor plans for common dining areas, redesigning seating arrangements to ensure at least six feet of separation between table setups.
- Design a process to ensure guests stay separate while waiting to be seated. The process can include floor markings, outdoor distancing, waiting in cars, etc.
- Post Signage:
- At the entrance, post a sign that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 is to be permitted in the restaurant.
- Post signs throughout the restaurant reminding guests about the importance of social distancing.
- Post signs that discourage customers from standing or congregating in one place.
The National Restaurant Association
Food and Drug Administration
- Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease
Mutual of Enumclaw
The information we share on our site is intended to serve as a general overview. Please refer to your policy or contact your local independent agent for specific coverage details.