Growing COVID-19 cases have led to a shutdown of indoor and outdoor dining in California, but don’t worry, you can still order great food.
A restaurant shutdown does prevent the spread of infection, but it is also essential for eateries to offer safe food takeout and delivery practices. Here are some measures that restaurants can adopt to ensure safe food takeout and delivery:
Ensure a Clean and Safe Environment
Keep sanitizing and disinfecting your eatery to maintain a clean environment while preparing food inside the restaurant. Follow the 4-step food safety guide designed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
Wash, rinse and sanitize surfaces that come in contact with food, such as utensils and beverage equipment, after use. Make sure you disinfect surfaces commonly touched by employees and customers, such as door handles, cooking equipment handles, debit/credit card machines, counters and others.
Use sanitizers and disinfectants according to the purposes they are designed for. Keep a check on whether your ware-washing machines are functioning at the required wash and rinse temperatures.
Personal Hygiene for Employees
All employees should be provided with a proper guideline for maintaining hygiene. They should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and especially after visiting the bathroom, before eating and after coughing and sneezing.
If and when soap and water are not available, sanitizers should be present. Sanitizers must be alcohol-based with at least 60% alcohol. Make sure employees wear masks and gloves and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
Staff training is important to make sure they follow all SOPs. Every employee who has to touch food while preparing or delivering it should be provided with extra training.
Dedicated Takeout Area and Contactless Delivery
Safe food takeout and delivery should include a designated take away area and contactless delivery option. For takeout, there should be a specially designated area inside the restaurant. Make sure you have guidelines posted that allow customers to know where to get their orders.
Maintain social distancing between the restaurant employee and customer. Be careful that a crowd of customers does not gather at the time of food take away.
A good practice would be to ask customers to place their order over the phone or online so that that they can be given a pickup time. This will prevent long queues from forming on the site.
In order to handle payments, use a long tray to pass objects back and forth, such as money, debit/credit card machines and receipts. Encourage card payments to be made over the phone rather than at the delivery point.
Introduce the option of contactless delivery when dropping parcels to customers’ homes. Ask customers to specify where they would like the rider to leave the food, such as on the porch or doorstep. This will prevent interaction and minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.
Safe food takeout and delivery is vital as the world goes through a health crisis. Make sure the food packaging is tamper-proof and eco-friendly to gain the trust of the customers.
It is mandatory for all restaurants to follow safe food takeout and delivery procedures. At Earth, Wind and Flour, we make sure we adhere to all safety guidelines religiously. Click here to explore our blog.