Being a restaurant owner has never been so difficult. Due to the pandemic, restaurant management is finding themselves looking for new ways to run their shop without losing business. After months of being shut down the new normal has set in and in order for restaurants to survive they need to be prepared.
Besides wearing a mask while in public, staying six feet apart is the law. So how do you run a restaurant while applying the social distancing guidelines and stay in business? You have to be creative and unique.
Running a restaurant during covid makes eating out a challenge, however, people have become so bored sitting at home, they are willing to adapt to new policies just to get back out in public. It’s time to get out the cleaning supplies and mask up.
5 Ways To Socially Distance
The six feet apart law may be frustrating, but it is designed to keep you, your staff, and your customers safe. Following the rules set by the local government and CDC will help stop the spread of covid and help keep our restaurants in business.
1. Block Off Gathering Areas
Self-servicing areas like the pop machines, or napkin dispensers should be blacked off. Have condiments available at each table and offer only take out silverware and other utensils once an order is made.
If your restaurant is not one wear services is brought directly to the table, you can have pre-prepared bundles to hand to the customers when they order their food.
Another good idea is to offer packets of condiments instead of the pump or a large container, and switch to cans of soda or bottled water instead of a soda machine.
Block off the water fountains and games that may be available for customer use, the most popular being the crane games, or muscles tester. Also, empty the gumball and candy machines so no one is tempted to use them.
2. Space Out Your Seating Area
Make sure seating is spaced out at least six feet apart. Remember just because the tables are six doesn’t mean the customers will be. You have to allow for enough room food chairs and enough space between chairs and table so your customers are comfortable.
Make sure you remove the benches from the waiting area and the restaurant’s entrance and remove the “smoking area” if you have one. Create designated areas for your waiting guest, that separates everyone. And keep wait times very short.
You may want to consider redesigning the dining area to maximize occupancy and still maintaining six feet. Keeping your tables spaced out will also keep your employees separated when serving. Keeping your restaurant much safer.
3. Offer Outdoor Service and Seating
If you can offer outdoor seating no matter the weather that will give you extra space for more customers. It can also be a great incentive to bring people in.
Decorate the outdoor space and make it a beautiful get-a-way with floral decore or a country chic design, this something people would flock to while social distancing. People are likely to jump at the chance to change up their monotonous day to day scenery.
Don’t have space to offer outdoor seating? Offer your customers outdoor service. Even if you are not a fast-food restaurant, give your customers the option of ordering their food ahead of time and picking it up at a window, or you can bring it right to their cars.
4. Preplan Your Menu
The quicker you can serve people the faster you can get them in and out the door. This means more time to clean up and more customers in a day. Restaurant management should be able to come up with a menu with the most frequently ordered meals. Have these meals cooking and near ready as customers are being seated.
This service will also help with the take-out service, giving you quick easy meals to pack up and send out the door.
Having a preplanned meal menu can also help owners budget. They will have a good idea of how much they will be making from day to day, so finding a way to work with the new income can help restaurant owners stay ahead.
5. Use Arrows and Signs
When running a restaurant during Covid, you will notice you try things you never thought you would need to do. That includes purchasing floor arrows to direct foot traffic around the restaurant. Keep the arrow in a circular flow making sure no customers have to pass one another face to face.
These arrows are cheap and easy to find at places like Amazon or really any online store or department store. This is a cheap, easy, and efficient way to make sure your customers and employees are socially distancing while in your restaurant.
While purchasing the arrows, grab yourself some reminder signs as well. Giving people a visual reminder to keep their masks on and to stay six feet apart, will give you a better chance of them following the protocol.
Place signs near the restrooms and at the checkout line, these are the spots that people tend to need reminders the most.
Other Quick Tips
There are a lot of rules to follow in order to keep your restaurant open. However, these rules are in place to keep your customers feeling safe. As long as you have customers’ confidence and trust you will have a business.
- Have masks available for customers who forget
- Offer sanitizer at all entrances, kitchen areas, and bathrooms
- Offer online payment and ordering
- Require reservations
- Create a plan and stick to it
Running a restaurant during Covid doesn’t have to be a headache. It also doesn’t mean your business is doomed. People are making adjustments all over the world to accommodate a new way of life. With the proper restaurant management, cooperative staff, and understanding customers you can be just as successful as you were before the pandemic started.