What is Being Done to Keep Consumers Safe
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, non-essential businesses were shut down for a period of time in an attempt to flatten the curve of the spread of the virus. Now that establishments are able to open again, kitchens will need to step it up to be compliant. Governor Abbott’s Strike Force to Open Texas outlines the minimum standard health protocols for restaurants and businesses with kitchens. This publication provides businesses with checklists for serving customers, health protocols for employees and contractors and health standards for their facilities.
Serving Customers – The New Normal in Dallas
Restaurants always need to be mindful of federal and state laws, workplace safety standards and accessibility standards. In addition to all previous guidelines, establishments now must adhere to a handful of new protocols to stay compliant. Parties must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other parties at all times, whether in the restaurant’s eating area or while waiting to be seated. There also is a maximum of 6 people per table allowed.
Procedures for Restaurant & Kitchen Staff to Remain Compliant
All employees and contractors must be trained on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Upon entering into any kitchen all staff must be screened. They need to be sent home with any of the symptoms of possible COVID-19. Staff must wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the kitchen and between interactions with others. Staff should also maintain 6 feet of separation. If distancing is not feasible, measures such as face covering, cough etiquette, cleanliness and sanitation should be rigorously practiced. As always, businesses must regularly clean their surroundings. These new rules in place extend to regularly touched areas requiring cleaning and disinfecting more often. These areas include door handles, railings, tables, chairs, stalls and countertops. A hand sanitizing station must be available upon entry to any restaurant along with visible signage to remind everyone of the best hygiene practices. Contactless payments are also encouraged.
How Will Businesses Handle These Changes
Some business owners were forced to furlough staff during this pandemic. Upon reopening, when contacting staff to return, some may have found other employment opportunities. Others may just be uncomfortable working the same position with the threat of the coronavirus still looming. These added challenges, coupled with occupancy limitations, have some businesses hurting. There are added costs to continue to be compliant with all these new functions so some owners are choosing to flat out not open at this time.
Staff Dedicated to Keeping Kitchens COVID Compliant
It is recommended if your establishment has more than 10 employees and/or contracts present at one time, you consider having a dedicated individual to handle the new protocols. This person would ensure the health rules are being adopted, successfully implemented and followed by all including the patrons are remaining their social distancing. Some restaurants and businesses may not have adequate staff to re-arrange seating in their space and perform the frequent, rigorous cleanings of so many high-touch surfaces. These organizations may need to seek additional, affordable staff to assist in moving seating and for sanitizing solutions above the normal cleaning performed.
Partnering to Assist with COVID Compliance
A reputable staffing company in your area should be contacted that is professional, uniformed and versed in sanitizing. Trinity Event Staffing is comprised of dependable teams that know hospitality inside and out. While they can supply chefs to assist in kitchens, they also have sanitizing specialists. These staff members have been through extensive training and would be on hand for cleaning and sanitizing to allow business to proceed. The presence of cleaning staff seen on-site by customers would tell them you are concerned about their safety. This in turn, would alleviate some concerns with dining at their establishment now and in the future.