COVID-19 Best Practices For Reopening NC Restaurants

COVID-19 Best Practices For Reopening NC Restaurants

Now that North Carolina is preparing to get back to work, having a well-defined COVID-19 Best Practices For Reopening NC Restaurants is crucial. 

North Carolina has officially begun implementing a three-phased reopening approach. While every business faces unique challenges to get back to “normal”, restaurants may have the most work to do.  

It is crucial to follow Best Practices for NC Restaurant Reopening to help keep your employees and guests safe as you resume normal operations and ensure a successful restaurant reopening. Keep in mind that this guidance is general in nature.  

Depending on the location of your business, you may need to account for additional state and local requirements or restrictions.  

Let’s look at 4 Best Practices Every NC Restaurant Should Consider before reopening: 

What Best Practices Should Restaurants Have For Cleaning And Sanitizing? 

One of the best ways to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Virus is by keeping and maintaining a clean environment.  As a restaurant owner, it is imperative that you not only make sure your restaurant is properly cleaned before you reopen to the public, but that you maintain vigilant standards moving forward. 

Obviously, you should follow the cleaning and disinfecting guidelines and procedures put out by your local health department.  Additionally, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration have great resources you should familiarize yourself with. 

Clean Before You REOPEN To The Public

  • Deep Clean and Sanitize your facility.  
  • Make sure you use approved cleaning chemicals in the kitchen and around food preparation areas 

Daily Cleaning Before And After Normal Hours 

  • Clean and Sanitize high traffic areas 
  • Clean and Sanitize high usage items (touch screens, buttons, counters, etc) 
  • Clean and Sanitize tables and condiments  
  • Make sure you use approved cleaning chemicals in the kitchen and around food preparation areas 

Cleaning During Regular Business Hours 

  • Clean and Sanitize table tops & seating after each guest leaves the area 
  • Clean and Sanitize pens & credit card related items (credit tray, credit card machine, etc) after each guest contact 
  • Clean and Sanitize table condiments  
  • Clean and Sanitize restrooms frequently 
  • Clean and Sanitize reusable menus after each use. 

What Food Safety Precautions Should Restaurants Be Taking After COVID-19? 

North Carolina Restaurants have always placed a high priority on food safety. 

In addition to maintaining the same high standards you have always kept, we suggest you consider these additional Food Safety Precautions in response to heightened COVID-19 concerns. 

Employee Training And Oversight Of Cleaning 

  • Designate one to two managers to oversee Food Operations & Safety 
  • The manager(s) should be ServSafe Certified 
  • Hold Daily Refresher Trainings about food handling to all employees 

Best Practices For Customer Utensils And Condiments 

  • Use pre-packaged plasticware and napkins when and if feasible 
  • When using silverware, use a designated area to roll and package 
  • Roll Silverware & Napkins Then Store And Distribute in Sealed Bags 

Food Handling Best Practices 

  • Check (and perform daily checks) for out of date food items, discard if out of date 
  • Keep food containers wrapped and clean to avoid cross contamination 
  • Close any self-service food and drink stations if possible 

How Can Restaurants Help Ensure Employee Health And Safety? 

Employee Health & Safety is a large responsibility for NC Restaurants Reopening in a COVID-19 world.   

While there is insurance coverages, like Workers Compensation Insurance For Restaurants, to help cover a business’s employees SHOULD they become affected, preventing a Coronavirus illness is best. 

Regardless of what function the employee performs in your organization the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance says any employee who is sick should stay home.  

While there are no Mandates (as of 5/22/2020) for employees’ temperatures to be taken, best practices may dictate that you perform these tests before starting work each day. 

Employee Safety Precautions 

  • Train all employees how to properly wash their hands 
  • When Handwashing isn’t possible, require frequent use of hand sanitizer 
  • If you choose to require Face Masks, show employees how to properly wear the face masks. 
  • Limit the number of employees allowed simultaneously in break rooms or other communal areas 

What Social Distancing Guidelines Should Restaurants Follow? 

Social distancing is an important strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

Restaurants, like all businesses, need to have a plan for both employees and customers when it comes to social distancing. 

  • Follow Local, State, and Federal Laws regarding Occupancy 
  • If possible, require a reservation or call ahead seating policy 
  • Designate a staff person (or multiple staff) to monitor the number people entering and leaving the establishment 
  • Consider having designated entrances and exits for customers 
  • Maintain 6 feet of separation between tables 
  • Leave two bar stools empty between guests who are not in the same party 
  • Monitor the number of guests on your premises. 
  • Limit contact between wait staff and guests. 
  • Create Floor Markings in Waiting Areas to maintain proper 6 foot distancing 
  • When possible, have guests wait in their vehicles until their table is ready 
  • Install physical barriers where practical, (e.g., booth seating or partitions). 

North Carolina Restaurant Insurance Specialist 

If you are a North Carolina Restaurant Owner, feel free to reach out to ALLCHOICE if you have any questions about how the Coronavirus and your insurance work. We are a local, independent insurance agency that specializes in protecting your business.  

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