National Restaurant Association reopening guidelines

[restaurants closed for covid-19]
Restaurants brace to reopen under a "new normal."

Following guidelines published by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Restaurant Association published its own set of reopening guidelines to give restaurant owners a well-rounded approach to their “new normal.” It starts with taking the necessary housekeeping in order to reopen, followed by protocols and procedures to ensure the health and safety of every worker and guest.

The place

Your place of business as a brick-and-mortar restaurant is the money-maker and rightfully requires the most attention prior to reopening. The to-do list is long and comprehensive. But ultimately, all employees should understand what needs to be done and why:

  • Cleaning house: not only do restaurants need to do a thorough cleaning, but they need to be adamant about a rigorous routine of cleaning in between different interactions or activities in the workplace.

  • New practices: where we once thought having unwrapped straws or lemons openly resting near a service station, those days are long gone. New guidelines bash that old commonplace thinking. Rearranging the place may also be necessary.

  • New items: having some items like hand sanitizer and “touchless” solutions around the restaurant are highly recommended. New sanitary measures must be freely accessible to employees and guests alike.

The people

Employees were always expected to maintain a clean and proper appearance when working in food service, but now the recommended guidelines have some stricter measures about health and personal hygiene.

  • Take “sick” seriously: In an industry where “calling in sick” is not an option, businesses need to start rethinking their policies around employee illness. It should no longer be deemed acceptable that an employee “suck it up” and get through their shift while battling illness symptoms.

  • New attire: the guidelines also state measures employees can take to keep a safe and sanitary workplace and one of those is around things like masks and gloves. Depending on the job, you as a business owner may want to invest in some new accessories for your employees.

  • New song and dance: the way employees interact with guests is something to be looked at. How are things being delivered to guests? What are the literal touch points? How should those interactions be modified? This guide will spell some out.

Read the guidelines for more information, and of course, refer to your state or local guidelines as far as protocol is concerned. While we recognize that these new measures are not easy to implement, it will be well worth the effort to get your business up and running again, while keeping the health and safety of employees and guests at the forefront of your business practices.