As more restaurants reopen for dine-in service, customers are paying attention to the measures being taken to protect both employees and themselves. Restaurant sanitation has always been important from a food safety perspective. Now, restaurant managers and employees must also take additional steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
When guests visit your establishment, you want them to feel safe and comfortable, especially during the stress of a global pandemic. Instill confidence by implementing these restaurant sanitation measures.
Provide Ample Supplies
In order to effectively clean and sanitize all areas of a restaurant during operating hours, your team needs the right tools. Provide enough supplies for all employees to have simultaneous access, including:
- Cleaning products
- Disinfecting products
- Spray bottles and other application equipment
- Cleaning cloths and wipes
- Mops and buckets
- Gloves, masks, and other PPE
Front-of-house employees need to be able to sanitize tables and seating areas between guests, so make sure there are enough clean cloths and spray bottles to frequently refresh for the turnover. Back-of-house employees need to maintain the same food safety standards they have always kept and sanitize more frequently, including between shifts.
Create additional handwashing stations throughout the restaurant, if possible. Ideally, put these in an area that is visible to patrons so they can see how seriously your team is taking handwashing practices. At minimum, place hand sanitizer in easily accessible areas so employees can use it often.
Provide checklists to ensure all sanitizing steps are taken before opening, between customers, at closing time, during shift changes, and any other times required. Update any existing checklists to include COVID-19-related measures and make them easily accessible so employees can reference them as needed.
Assign clear roles and responsibilities so everybody knows what is expected of them; don’t leave room for assuming that somebody else is doing the work. Create a sense of accountability among your team. Post a log for people to record when tasks have been completed so everyone can see what has been done and when.
Restaurant employees are well-versed in the requirements for keeping both the front of house and back of house clean. However, this doesn’t mean they are equipped with the knowledge required for addressing COVID-19. As people return to work, provide paid training to refresh them on standard practices and teach the new COVID-19-related practices.
Teach employees the difference between cleaning and sanitation, and why it’s so important to clean first. Provide hands-on training for any new sanitizing products or application methods to ensure everyone knows how to use them and that sanitizing is done consistently. After the initial training, conduct weekly check-ins to keep new content top of mind and help prevent sanitizing fatigue—sanitization is important every single time.
Communicate to Customers
Let your customers know what you’re doing to protect their health and give them peace of mind. Use disinfection placards (If using D7, JBI offers a variety of placards and QR scan codes) explaining your process and signage to let customers know when a table has been sanitized. Put handwashing signs in bathrooms explaining the best practices so both customers and employees are reminded how to wash most effectively.
In addition to in-restaurant communication methods, add content to your website and social media channels explaining the measures you are taking. This will reassure customers that you are taking their health seriously before they walk in the door.
Use D7 for All of Your Sanitation Needs
D7 has a long history of use for food safety applications and is also on the EPA’s list of disinfectants for use against COVID-19. The product is safe for use on food contact surfaces so it’s suitable for back-of-house applications. Its low toxicity properties also make it a good choice for front-of-house use.