A Restaurant’s Guide to Reopening Successfully Amidst Pandemic

The pandemic is far from over, but we have learned to live with it. People have started stepping out of their homes and taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and others they come in contact with. Many states in the US are now opening their shops, restaurants and other entertainment venues to revive their economy. This is the right time for restaurants to gain ground and win back the lost business.

From Mint Plaza in SoMa installing “quarantine bubbles” for patio seating to the Boot Grill in Colorado implementing Digital Signage software and Glass Partitions on each table in the Penguin Eat Shabu hotpot restaurant in Bangkok - you'll find a plethora of such innovative solutions that the industry folks are gravitating towards to give their customers the peace of mind that they strive for when they come out of their safety bubbles.

So what is it that you can do to deal with the “new normal” of socially distanced dining as the pandemic continues to evolve? These 5 strategies can help you stay afloat whilst ensuring safe interactions.

Keep the masks on!

Make masks essential for everyone who steps inside the establishment. Even the guests without proper masks should not be allowed to enter the premises. Restaurants are the most vulnerable of all places when it comes to maintaining a safe distance for obvious reasons. Since guests may not be wearing a mask while eating or drinking, it is best to keep your waiters and other staff members away from their table for as long as they don’t finish their meals and put the mask back on. All these safety guidelines should either be available on the restaurant’s contactless ordering app for easy access.

Embrace Contactless Solutions

From self-ordering kiosks to contactless dining - the market has exploded with a plethora of contactless solutions that you can implement to ensure minimal contact between the servers and the diners. Many restaurants have embraced contactless ordering and payment solutions as a means of serving their customers during the pandemic. The customers can also make the reservation, pick their table, as well as place their order in advance from their own phone.

Read how Contactless is changing the industry landscape here.

While contactless dining becomes a mandate in the age of Coronavirus and beyond, Restolabs has come out with an extensive 'End-to-End Contactless Dining Suite' for restaurants ensuring seamless use of technology to support no-contact dining in the future.

Get Creative

Everyone is obeying safety guidelines, but a handful of them are also enticing their customers with creative solutions like igloos, tents, ice huts, yurts, and similar structures. Customers are getting attracted to such a structure to an extent that they have started making advance reservations for the holiday season. As temperatures dip in some parts of the world, the overwhelming majority of eateries are still navigating how to keep their customers warm, safe, and socially distanced.

Mandatory Temperature Checks

Mandatory temperature checkpoints for staff and diners will be a must for restaurants for a successful reopening. We believe the role of technology in the post-COVID-19 era is to establish trust and build confidence in the minds of consumers. Many restaurants are also investing in thermal imaging cameras for COVID-19 screenings of employees and customers. So if you have a group of people coming in together, the technology will be able to screen 8 people at a time and provide temperature details. The alarm sets off if the machine detects anyone with a high temperature at the premises. Their temperatures are then taken again at the restaurant, and anyone who registers above 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit is sent home.

Install Hand-sanitizing and Gloves Stations

Are guests entering the premises without sanitizers and gloves? Provide them with one and keep the station accessible for all guests and employees at all times. For instance, if you have a bar at the premises, the bartender and the guests should be wearing gloves while exchanging the ingredients and the drinks. This will ensure that both parties don’t come in direct contact with each other at the time of service. Even the cooks and servers should be wearing gloves throughout the operating hours. Every time a server finishes his round on a table, he or she should sanitize their hands and wear a fresh pair of gloves. Have these instructions floating around the premises for constant reminders.

So here you go! Your quick guide to reopening the restaurant successfully. Holiday season is upon us, which means people are already planning their outings. This is the best time to prepare the business to capture and retain your customers' interest. And while you are at it, emphasis on delivery and takeout as well.. Experts have predicted a high demand for takeaway and delivery in the coming months.