The coronavirus pandemic shut down restaurants and bars for months. However, the doors might open soon now that the government plans to ease restrictions.
If you’re running a diner, though, don’t expect that things will get back to normal. The government might even provide plenty of guidelines and health protocols to follow before you can accept customers again.
Although the complete guidelines are not yet available, you can implement changes to make your restaurant safe for your customers and staff:
1. Think Solo
The UK encourages social and physical distancing, although it seems experts couldn’t agree on the ideal distance. Some say it should be two meters apart, while others believe one meter is already enough.
Either way, you cannot have the same number of customers in your restaurant. You even need to cut the count by 50%. This way, you can spread out the tables and chairs. Other ideas include:
- Separating tables with glass or plastic enclosures
- Using bubble pods or small greenhouses like what Amsterdam restaurants are doing
- Creating a table for one to discourage group meals
2. Improve Restaurant Insulation
Insulation doesn’t only keep your restaurants warm and comfortable but also offers the following benefits:
- Prevent the buildup of moisture that can cause mold and mildew
- Maintain the right humidity to decrease the risk of food spoilage
- Avoid significant changes in moisture and humidity that promote bacterial growth
More businesses these days are doing polyethylene pipe insulation for their heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Polyethylene is an economical, anti-corrosive material that is also leakproof, durable, and lightweight.
3. Don’t Run the AC
In one of the remarkable studies about coronavirus transmissions, the researchers looked into a Chinese restaurant where non-related customers got sick. Their analysis revealed that the air-conditioning unit near them might have contributed to their illness.
According to it, some droplets can be big and remain in the air for some time. The strong air airflow from the AC could have spread the virus to the nearby tables, even if they’re all over a meter apart.
Although turning off the air conditioner can cause a lot of sweating and discomfort, it can be an effective preventive measure. Don’t forget to open the windows too to boost ventilation and allow air to circulate.
4. Consider Outdoor Dining
If comfort is still your priority, you can consider bringing the dining experience outdoors. Based on their studies on cluster infections, scientists think that enclosed spaces can only increase the risk of transmission.
In a restaurant, for example, they might still sit close to one another. The viral particles can also linger in the air with no route to get out.
5. Let Everyone Wear Mask
Masks work in preventing infections even during the 1918 flu pandemic. They can prevent asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus and reduce the likelihood that non-sick individuals can breathe in infectious particles.
For customers, cloth masks will do. However, for your staff, you need to pair these masks with face shields. Doubling protection is essential since they are exposed to more people.
Doing these changes will help ease everyone’s minds and make restaurants more attractive to cautious diners.