What Restaurant Operators Can Do to Safely Serve Customers During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Although it has been months since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the U.S., we’re still only scratching the surface when it comes to understanding the public health impact of this novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, this unknown factor makes it extremely difficult to accurately determine exactly how restaurants will be impacted by the novel coronavirus over the coming weeks or months.

As restaurants navigate through this unknown territory, the most important point remains clear: to keep customers, employees, and the public safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19. Here are a few tips on what restaurant operators can do to ensure the health and safety of their customers during this critical time.

Go Overboard with Your Cleaning

Restaurants are already some of the most regularly cleaned public spaces around, and athough you’re already doing a lot of what it takes to prevent the spread of germs, a major public health crisis calls for a serious ramp up of your cleaning efforts.

The first step to combating coronavirus is to ensure that your restaurant is as clean as possible, and the more you go above and beyond to reassure your customers that your hygiene efforts are impeccable the better. Some of the things you should do include:

  • Increasing the frequency with which you have your staff thoroughly clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces, like touch-screen kiosks, door handles, bathroom surfaces, and handrails
  • Spot cleaning all glass surfaces and mirrors, like windows and glass doors, so they’re free of streaks and smudges
  • Completely emptying and sanitizing ice wells when closing out
  • Wiping down and sanitizing food prep surfaces between preparation of different foods
  • Polishing all stainless steel surfaces, including ice makers and refrigeration units, when closing out

Be sure to also have all of your staff wash their hands more frequently than normal, following proper hand washing protocols as outlined by the CDC—lathering the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails with soap and scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds. And keeping this top-of-mind for your staff is especially important during rush times.

Make the Move from Dine-In to Takeout

The COVID-19 crisis has unfortunately caused dining rooms across the world to shut, and since it’s unknown how long it will be until the pandemic subsides there’s no telling when onsite dining will resume. But this doesn’t mean that restaurants are left without the ability to serve customers and generate revenue.

Operators are allowed to remain open for takeout. At OneDine, we understand that transitioning a solely or primarily dine-in operation into one that offers takeout may not be easy, but we’re here to help make this process easy and seamless.

Right now, we’re offering to turn any restaurant (with or without a parking lot) into an order, pay, and pick-up takeout venue in just 24 hours—for free.

With our technology, your customers can:

  • Place a pre-order from your menu, pay for it on their devices, and notify you when they arrive at your location
  • Drive up next to a OneDine standing sign and scan the QR code that launches a mobile-friendly web page for your restaurant, where they can then order and pay from their phone
  • Have their food brought directly to their car, reducing human contact and helping to keep both customers and team members safe

This setup is being offered at no charge to restaurants during the current gathering restrictions and as dining rooms remain closed due to COVID-19, with no cost for set up, no contracts, and no commitments. Typical credit card processing fees do apply.

Seal Takeout Bags and Containers

When putting together takeout orders, be sure to close the packaging bags using tamper-proof seals. Some options include:

  • Adhesive seals that tear bags when opened
  • Carryout containers with plastic tabs that break when food is accessed
  • Cartons with tamper-evident seals or adhesive strips
  • Tamper-evident labels

As we continue to navigate the current COVID-19 health crisis, stepping up cleaning and sanitizing practices, and putting effective takeout operations in place are key to ensuring the health and safety of customers at this critical time.

At OneDine, we are on a mission to save our restaurant families. If you need any help transitioning your restaurant business into takeout, please reach out to our team today.

Call us at 888-551-DINE or fill out this form to learn more.