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Best health and safety practices for restaurant operators to protect their staff and diners

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Photograph: Shutterstock

The news of publicly available vaccines has been a much-needed bright spot for the restaurant industry. Still, it remains crucial for restaurant operators to keep the health, safety and wellbeing of their team members and diners front and center.

Nationwide spikes in coronavirus cases put a renewed emphasis on safe business practices. Diners remain wary of on-premise service, with 54% saying they won’t be comfortable dining indoors for at least the next six months and 24% saying they’re unsure when they’ll feel comfortable, according to a Technomic survey from Nov. 4-7, 2020. 

In a year full of uncertainty, the best thing restaurant operators can do is remain vigilant to how their health and safety practices are being executed. Here are some best practices to consider so that restaurant operators can create a safer dining experience—both now and in the future.

Provide thorough training, plentiful PPE

The CDC’s Nov. 18, 2020 edition of COVID-19 safety guidelines for restaurants and bars emphasizes the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by restaurant staff and diners alike as a key precaution for both on- and off-premise service. The guidelines recommend that staff wear masks and gloves at all times, and keeping plenty of PPE on hand ensures that staff can change into a clean mask or pair of gloves as frequently as is needed.

Importantly, restaurant staff need a solid knowledge of protocol to ensure compliance with safety measures even during the restaurant’s busiest hours. While regulations vary by region, standard protocols include frequent and thorough handwashing, disinfecting high-contact surfaces and modifying restaurant layouts to support social distancing. Knowing exactly how and how often to carry out sanitation-related tasks not only supports health among staff and diners, but also keeps restaurant operations running as smoothly as possible.

Ever-changing safety standards certainly present a challenge for operators. Trust20’s Restaurant Training provides key information through short, digestible video clips to keep employees up to speed. Holistic training from Trust20 sets a higher standard for health and safety while also clearly communicating these standards to diners. 

Support communication among staff

CDC guidelines place a strong emphasis on employee self-reporting as a key practice to supporting safety among the restaurant’s community, underscoring the importance of creating a work environment where sick employees can stay home without fear of reprisal. Providing sick leave is helpful, as is encouraging managers to support sick or exposed employees in staying home from work—even when the restaurant is short-staffed.

Trust20 helps facilitate this crucial line of communication by streamlining daily employee health screenings and ensuring that employees are properly educated in implementing protocol. Trust20 communicates sick leave policies in accordance with current federal law, equipping employees with the knowledge they need to keep themselves, their coworkers and restaurant diners safe.

To learn more about how Trust20 can support restaurant operators in creating a safer dining experience and explore how Trust20 Certified Restaurants are leading the industry forward, visit trust20.co.

This post is sponsored by Trust20

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