Restaurant Management Tips for Reopening After Coronavirus

Waitress Wearing a Mask Holding Plate of Food

After weeks of mandatory shutdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurateurs and diners alike are anxious for restaurants to re-open for dine-in services. But re-opening your restaurant to diners doesn’t necessarily mean returning to business as normal. These restaurant management tips for reopening after coronavirus can help you succeed in the aftermath of a pandemic.

Follow All Government Strictures Carefully

As states begin to reopen county by county, it’s imperative that you’re closely following the guidelines mandated by the state. Restaurants in Oregon, for example, will need to limit their occupancy to ensure parties remain at least six feet apart upon reopening, with all parties being capped at ten. Carefully research the guidelines for your area and strictly implement them. Remember: managing a restaurant after coronavirus will be an entirely new experience that requires additional staff training and preparation.

Make Layout & Policy Adjustments

Wondering how to manage a restaurant post-COVID-19? Make sure to consider your customers. Many people will likely be weary of returning to restaurants, and if you want your diners and employees to feel safe and respected, you need to make sure you’re prioritizing their health and safety. The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Re-Opening Guide suggests these measures your restaurant should take in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Update your restaurant’s floor plan to ensure at least six feet of separation between parties
  • Install plexiglass barriers or partitions at cash registers
  • Limit contact between waitstaff and guests and require your waitstaff to wear masks when interacting with guests
  • Implement a reservation system or call-ahead seating
  • Post clear signage prohibiting guests exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 from entering your restaurant
  • Reduce person-to-person interaction by implementing mobile ordering, text-on-arrival seating, and contactless payment options

Practice Impeccable Hygiene

In addition to changing the layouts and policies in your restaurant, it’s important to prioritize cleanliness and hygiene. These post-coronavirus restaurant management tips from the NRA’s guide can help you get started:

  • Detail clean and sanitize frequently touched areas including the kitchen window, cash register, card readers, and door handles, etc.
  • Clean and sanitize table condiments, menus, digital ordering devices, check presenters, self-service areas, tabletops, and other commonly touched areas between seatings
  • Consider moving to disposable menus and discarding them after each use. If using laminated menus, ensure that staff sprays with sanitizer after each use.
  • Discard single use items and use rolled silverware
  • Make hand sanitizer regularly available to guests. If possible, use touchless hand-sanitizing solutions

Maintain Communication with Guests

Because of the way the reopenings are structured, people are bound to have a lot of questions. If you want guests to visit your restaurant, you need to make sure they know it’s open to diners. Make sure your hours and services are updated on Google My Business and on your website. You should also make an announcement on any social media pages associated with your restaurant.

Additionally, your clientele will likely want to know what you’re doing to protect them from coronavirus if they decide to visit. Outline any additional restaurant safety measures you and your employees are taking along with any policy changes you’ve implemented, i.e. reservation-only seating, mobile ordering, etc. Don’t send diners on a wild goose chase to find the information they need to make their decision about whether or not to dine-in at your restaurant.

Keep Offering No-Contact Curbside Pickup and Delivery

In all likelihood, many people will want to continue no-contact curbside pickup and delivery, even when restaurants reopen to in-house dining. To take advantage of this business, continue to offer these services as long as the demand continues. Need help getting started? Our guide to no-contact curbside pickup and delivery can help.

We’re an independently owned and operated wholesale food distributor, and we take great pride in helping each and every one of our customers succeed. Keep an eye on our foodservice blog for more restaurant management tips, including how to keep restaurant costs down and revenue up during coronaviruswhat you need to know about ghost kitchens, how to rank for “near me” searches, and other tips and strategies for your restaurant’s success.

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