According to CDC Guidelines, restaurants lowest at risk for transmission of COVID-19 are food services limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curbside pick up. High-risk are restaurants that offer both indoor and outdoor dining. Many restaurants have been reopened and are back in business with minimal practice of safety precautions for front of house members like servers, bartenders, and hosts.
The spread of the virus is to be blamed heavily on the lack of change in the culture, policies, and procedures taken by staff as well as restaurant-goers. Servers can’t practice 6ft distancing themselves. Table touches are frequent when checking how the customer is doing, providing refills, answering questions, taking dirty dishes, splashed by dirty water in the back, etc. Although the challenges are fierce in keeping both staff and customers safe there are steps we can take to keep all parties safe.
CDC Guidelines suggest that:
Restaurants put systems in place that apply to privacy policies.
- Encouraging staff to self-report their symptoms of COVID-19.
- Encouraging staff to report Positive tests for COVID-19.
- Encouraging staff to report if they’ve been exposed to someone positive with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
Restaurants recognize signs and symptoms.
- Daily health checks and screenings in accordance with privacy laws and regulations should be implemented
Restaurants should prepare for sick employees.
- Isolate those who are sick or may have been infected.
Close proximity challenges, as well as no enforcement of wearing a mask when sitting for dining, are relevant between restaurant-goers and servers. The lack of regulation and policies creates an environment for easy transmission of respiratory droplets through speaking, coughing, and sneezing. It’s almost undeniable that servers are bound to get sick. Transparency is difficult with part-time employees. Written notifications just don’t happen. You’re lucky if you end up on a shift where managers let you know if someone has tested positive or if you’re able to know of cases through hearsay amongst coworkers. If you can figure out that you have not been exposed by calculating and remembering which days you worked and who you worked with, it’s not certain that you will ever be safe from further exposure.
Finding an all-in-one solution for screening, tracing, and testing that promotes anonymity, transparency, and safety for all employees both front and back of house while keeping guests safe is a tall order. Using the Care360 app adds peace of mind to any workplace, including restaurants. It is indeed necessary to the success of a restaurant in mitigating the potential risks associated with outbreaks. It’s difficult to encourage staff members to self-report their symptoms or positive tests, but the Care360 program assures both privacy and a means for collecting data effectively to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
Employers, do your part in protecting your FOH and BOH