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Following Social Distance Guidelines in a Restaurant Dining Room

COVID-19 continues to affect our daily lives, but how is it going to affect the way establishments serve dine-in customers when everyone is recommended to social distance? If you are preparing to reopen your restaurant but still aren’t sure how to configure the seating for your customers or how to train your wait staff, we have some tips to help.

Social Distancing and Seating

Social Distancing

The federal and state governments have been advising that all people in the United States stay a minimum of 6 feet away from each other. Whether you are arranging seating indoors or outdoors, you will want to take this into consideration when setting up seating. Here’s five things you can do to space the tables out for your customers.

  • Take out at least half of the tables and chairs in your current setup to spread customers out
  • Only allow so many customers inside at once
  • Get innovative by using small greenhouses or table bubbles to provide outdoor customers with their own space
  • Institute reservation-only seating to help diminish the amount of waiting customers standing together
  • Seat guests at larger tables and closer to a wall or away from the center of the dining room to give everyone more space

Social Distancing for Your Wait Staff

Restaurant Ordering

With a limited number of customers in your restaurant, your wait staff can be extra careful while attending to each table. Waiters and waitresses can now comfortably keep a distance while taking orders and dropping off food and drinks. Equip your staff with face shields, gloves, and masks to protect them from guests who are possibly infected with coronavirus.

Serving and Social Distancing

By adding a few new guidelines and informing customers that your serving style has changed a little, your employees can take extra precaution when serving guests.

  • Allow runners and waitresses to drop food and drinks off at the ends of tables to decrease contact with customers
  • Use wooden or plastic boards that are extra long to bring checks to customers
  • Implement no contact food preparation methods to minimize the transfer of any germs from staff to customers
  • Encourage customers to wear masks when they are not eating and to abide by your state’s mandates

Following Proper Sanitation Protocol

Constantly cleaning and sanitizing your restaurant space will help decrease the possibility of spreading germs. Follow these tips to take extra precaution and limit the spread of germs in your establishment.

  • Designate one or two employees to wipe down handles, faucets, doors, etc. in bathrooms after a customer visits
  • Consider closing off your bathrooms to customers in order to cut down on potential infections
  • If you have a multi-stall bathroom, explore the idea of transforming it into a space for a single user to limit the number of people in that space at once
  • Have one or two employees stand guard and wipe down commonly touched surfaces like entryway door handles, menus, booth seats, and condiments with disinfectant
  • Install or place air purifiers around your establishment to help clean the air in circulation

Now that many parts of the country and the world are slowly reopening, it’s time to take precaution and prepare your restaurant for social distancing and necessary sanitation. Using these methods will help when it comes to your business following mandated protocols.

Posted in: Management & Operation | By Angalena Malavenda
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