Despite many bars & restaurants getting to reopen on the 12th April the necessity to adhere to lockdown restrictions is still majorly impacting business as usual. Limitations including only offering outdoor seating and table service mean business owners have to adapt their existing health & safety measures to the new ways of serving customers.
Hospitality has been one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. That being said, many businesses tasked with reopening safely have done so rapidly and effectively by respecting the government restrictions on social distancing.
With social distancing measures in place and indoor dining off the table until the 17th May it means restaurants cannot fulfil as many covers as they usually would be able to. With this in mind, businesses have to find the sweet spot between keeping customer’s safe and turning a profit. So how exactly can outdoor dining be executed safely without compromising kerb appeal?
Outdoor Management for Restaurants & Bars
Many businesses have quickly set up seating areas with the outdoor space they have available. To do this effectively, a few factors have to be considered:
- Updating Risk Assessments: Have you revisited your risk assessments since setting up an outdoor area, if so have these been seen by all members of staff since reopening?
- Social distancing measures need to be considered. Is there a sufficient 2-meter distance between tables when diners are using them & have customers been made aware they cannot move the furniture?
- Has a one-way route been designed to allow customers to access your toilet facilities indoors and which also allows for your staff to serve safely?
Top tip: Get a member of your team to role-play being a new customer so your team can train and learn all of the new processes/procedures before opening.
- Is there sufficient POS displayed explaining the table service/ ordering process/track and trace.
- Cleaning Processes: Are your team adequately cleaning each seating area before/after customers visit? We would strongly recommend designing a new cleaning rota specifically for the outdoor dining areas.
Top Tip: Buddy offer a short online course in Covid-19 Secure. It’s great for anyone returning to work & wanting to learn about the pandemic and how to protect from spreading the virus.
- Promote booking ahead reduce the likelihood of customers arriving and gathering at peak times hoping to get a table. This will minimise crowds forming in your vicinity.
Promote your Health & Safety Protocols
Now more than ever customers will be conscious of what measures businesses are taking to keep everyone safe. With customers becoming savvier when it comes to Health & Safety standards it is fair to say it could be detrimental and costly to a business who chooses to overlook it.
Buddy encourages promoting Health & Safety and making it an area of the business to invest in for the future. Keeping up to date with staff training, promoting your food hygiene rating and displaying cleaning rotas will reassure customers they are in a safe space and would likely return.
- Click Here to read about Food Hygiene Scores and what they really mean
Coming out of lockdown there is always going to be a percentage of people who feel apprehensive and hesitant about the thought of eating out again. When positioning your POS & marketing communications we would advise speaking specifically to them with an aim to educate, inform and reassure. Also, keep up to date with restrictions and advice by reading the Government website
Consider Staff Training
Yes, it mind sound cheesy but knowledge is power. Investing the time to educate a team in safe food handling procedures means it will be implemented and executed to a high standard. We would recommend a level 2 food safety course for team members, and a level 3 food safety for managers or supervisors.
“A refresher course would never be a bad idea.”
If you would like any further information on the training courses we can offer for your team, please check out our website for more details.
Contact the Buddy today to book your slot on the next Level 2 Food Safety in Catering Course.
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