Open for Dine-in Service: COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Restaurants

Click here for a downloadable safety info sheet.

Dine-in service – from fast food to family style, fast casual and fine dining – is about to resume (or in some cases has already resumed) as several states relax coronavirus restrictions and reopen restaurants. 

Lights On in Other States Will Take More Time

Other states are moving toward reopening restaurants and other businesses more slowly, particularly where the virus pandemic has been widespread. For example, California, Washington State, Nevada and Oregon have formed a Regional Pact to Recovery that includes a coordination of business reopening. California’s Governor Newsom “outlined in part what such a reopening might look like, particularly for restaurants and diners, saying that half-full restaurant dining rooms would likely be common to start, as a way to promote continued physical distancing.”1

New York’s Governor Cuomo has said his state’s restart will be gradual and will vary by region, with upstate opening sooner than Manhattan and other dense areas. And, in Idaho, according to the Nation’s Restaurant News, restaurants must submit a plan for reopening before providing dine-in service under Phase 2 of the state’s plan, which begins mid-May.

The New Normal in Dining

While each state varies in its back-to-business schedule, one thing is clear: there will be significant changes to the dining experience once the doors are open. There are guidelines for both employees and patrons – from screening workers for signs of illness to requiring all staffers to wear face coverings at all times and limiting capacity and the size of parties at tables, among many other measures. Most restaurants are looking at reinventing at how they will be serving their customers as well as the floor plans of their establishments including both indoor and outdoor seating. Restaurant owners are weighing the economic viability of having limited capacity, with the goal, of course, to keep both staff and patrons safe.

Distinguished is providing guidelines to help restaurants maintain a safe environment for their workers and customers when they are ready to reopen. We encourage you to share these guidelines as a framework to help your clients successfully move forward.

Source: 1Eater Los Angeles