Opening Restaurants After The COVID-19 Lockdown

To quote Boris Johnson – ‘Our national hibernation is coming to an end,’ as England is allowing restaurants to reopen. But, in this ‘new normal,’ new rules have to be designed, and new norms have to be set. We cannot follow chivalry like drawing up a chair for the lady because minimum contact will be our goal. So, what are the rules for the hospitality industry and how to bring them to action? 

  • One meter plus rule 

Since it would hardly be possible for the hospitality industry to follow the two-meter social distancing rule, the government changed it to the ‘one meter plus’ rule. 

  • How can your restaurant meet the one-meter requirement? 
  1. To ensure one meter plus distance between diners, you have to rearrange your seating plan. 
  1. For the safe passage of staff and customers, space has to be made by removing some seats. You can achieve this by eliminating non-essential furnishings and decorations. 
  1. To minimize transmission, avoid face-to-face seating wherever possible. 
  1. Sensor technology can come to your aid by alerting customers and staff if they breach the rules. 
  1. Floor tapes can guide staff and customers into a one-way system to avoid contact. 
  • Only table-service for indoor hospitality.

To mitigate the risk of transmission, the government has asked the indoor hospitality industry to limit itself to table service and operate with reduced customers and staff. 

  • What can you do to introduce a safe table service system? 
  1. You can develop a restaurant app. 
  1. Customers can order through the app, thus avoiding speaking to the waiter. 
  1. Provide safe collection stations from where customers can pick up their orders without a server. 
  1. Protective face covers should be worn at all times, and restaurants should ensure sufficient ventilation and air circulation. 
  1. The tables and cutlery should be cleaned thoroughly between diners. 
  1. A PDQ machine is essential in a restaurant for payment transactions, and Pay2day gives you a variety of options for a card payment machine that ensures contactless transactions, PIN privacy and comes with rechargeable batteries. 

  • How can your restaurant maintain hygiene standards? 
  1. Ensure your restaurant didn’t have any pest activity in the lockdown by checking thoroughly. 
  1. Consider getting your restaurant professionally cleaned. 
  1. The hospitality industry has to ensure regular checks and maintenance of the cleaning equipment.  
  •  Collect customer data for test and trace.

Restaurateurs have to collect customer data as per the guidelines. This will be done to ensure that in case of an outbreak, people can be traced through customer IDs and isolated. 

  • How can your restaurant collect data? 

Your customers can fill forms before they leave or provide information while booking a table online. But, the best way would be through an app. You can ask your customers to fill their information on the app. 

Wrapping it up

It would be best if you took recourse to new technologies in the new normal. Restaurant apps, sensors, a PDQ machine or card payment machine, as well as loads of hard work, are some of the key requirements for the hospitality industry to get through these harsh times.