During normal times, February 14th is one of the most lucrative days for the restaurant industry, yielding countless reservations, large bills, and lovely tips. In 2020, Valentine’s Day was the last holiday before COVID-19 rose to prominence in the U.S. and took a blow to the economy. As we approach this year’s Valentine’s Day, the world looks undoubtedly different, and restaurants must do their best to adapt to these uncertain circumstances. While different areas of the U.S. have different rules and guidelines regarding restaurant operations, those that have the green light must do what they can to keep their staff and customers safe and healthy. With information from the CDC, here are some ways to show your restaurant some love this Valentine’s Day with these disinfection
How to Disinfect a Restaurant
Understand Your Restaurant’s Risk Level
Before you devise a disinfection strategy, note that your plan of attack will largely depend on the type, size, and flexibility of your restaurant. The CDC divides restaurants into four categories from lowest risk to highest risk. The lowest-risk businesses are those that only offer delivery, take-out, drive-thru, and curbside pickup options, as this greatly reduces contact. If your restaurant also offers outdoor seating with ample space between tables, it poses a somewhat higher risk. Restaurants with reduced-capacity indoor seating are considered higher-risk. And the highest-risk restaurants are those that offer indoor seating at full capacity and minimal spacing between tables. No matter where your restaurant falls on this scale, you’ll need to invest in disinfection services
to maintain a safe facility -- however, the degree and frequency of these disinfection efforts will increase with your level of risk.
Promote Proper Hygiene and Behaviors
Before we discuss actual disinfecting methods, one of the best things you can do to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases in your restaurant is train all employees in proper hygiene and behavior, such as mask-wearing, handwashing, social distancing when possible, staying home when sick, not sharing objects with others, and so on. Even if these measures seem obvious, driving the point home can go a long way in keeping harmful germs out of your facility in the first place and reducing their impact.
Prioritize High-Touch Surfaces
When cleaning and disinfecting your restaurant, pay special attention to surfaces that receive the most contact, such as cash registers, door handles, sinks, workstations, and so on. Your restaurant janitorial services
should clean and disinfect these objects at least once a day, and properly wipe down certain shared surfaces (such as countertops, condiment holders, pay terminals) between each use. Only food-safe, EPA-registered disinfectants should be used for these purposes -- these products must also dwell on the surface in question for the recommended amount of time before wiping down. Those in charge of disinfection should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and masks when performing this task.
Create a Consistent Cleaning and Disinfection Routine
Establishing a routine will help you stay on top of cleaning and disinfection. As mentioned earlier, certain surfaces should be disinfected after each use while others should be taken care of at least once a day. Areas and surfaces that don’t receive as much use (i.e. storage rooms) may be able to go longer before needing to be cleaned or disinfected. Whatever the case, your routine should be based on your restaurant’s specific needs. Commercial restaurant cleaning
experts can help you develop an optimal plan.
Have a Plan in Place for High-Risk and Sick Employees
Just as certain types of restaurants and surfaces pose a higher risk of transmission, certain individuals are at greater risk of developing serious symptoms when infected by COVID-19 and other diseases. If any staff member falls into this high-risk category, offer options that limit their exposure and develop policies to protect their privacy and worker rights in accordance with relevant laws. Additionally, have a plan in place for dealing with sick, symptomatic, and exposed staff members -- it’s important to encourage those who aren’t feeling well to stay home and isolate for an extended period of time. If any areas were recently used by a sick individual, do your best to temporarily close them off and properly clean/disinfect them. You must also notify local health officials of any COVID-19 among employees to help trace and mitigate further communal spread.
Maintaining a Safe Restaurant Is the Ultimate Expression of Love
The restaurant industry will see smaller crowds and less contact this Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a success. By understanding your facility’s risk level, promoting good hygiene and behavior, maintaining a stock of COVID-19 supplies
to tackle high-touch surfaces, establishing a routine for cleaning and disinfection, and taking care of your sick and vulnerable employees, you can show your staff, customers, and business some love this Valentine’s Day. At The Budd Group
, we’re here to help you keep your restaurant open and successful during and after these trying times. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!
For more detailed information regarding disinfection considerations for restaurants and bar operators from the CDC, click here