These are truly unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its march across the globe, business leaders are having to adapt their models to best serve their customers. The restaurant and bar industry is at the forefront of leading these changes. Here are five ways that bars and restaurants are adapting to the ongoing pandemic to keep their businesses thriving and their customers and employees safe.
Stepping Up the Cleaning Efforts: One of the primary ways to reduce the spread of the virus is through effective cleaning and sanitization. The restaurant and bar scene is fully invested in these efforts, stepping up their cleaning processes so that the virus is less likely to spread. For starters, many establishments are getting rid of handheld menus and installing menu boards visible from all tables. Savvy restaurant and bar owners understand the need to continually wipe down all of the commonly used surfaces and areas of their businesses. Some establishments are also offering hand sanitizing stations within the venue so that the customers and employees can wash their hands easily.
Offering Outside Seating: As more is learned about the risks of the coronavirus, it is becoming clear that the virus is less likely to spread while outdoors. For this reason, many dining establishments are adding outdoor seating to their venue. Even if they do not already have an existing space for outdoor dining, it has been worthwhile to create a patio for many of these businesses by simply adding some outdoor tables and chairs and putting tents for shade and protection from the elements. It is easy to find custom curbside tents online for restaurants, making it a breeze for these venues to expand their seating options and be able to safely accommodate their patrons by mitigating the spread of the virus.
>> How to Name Your Restaurant in 6 Easy Steps
Mandating Facial Masks: While many states have already enacted mandatory mask-wearing policies, not all communities have these rules in place. To bridge the gap, some restaurants and bars are requiring that their employees and customers wear masks when not seated at a table. This includes wearing the mask while walking from the table to and from the restroom. Some establishments will even provide the masks at no charge to customers in order to encourage compliance with the rules.
Limiting Capacity While Supporting Social Distancing: Some restaurants and bars have taken it upon themselves to operate at a reduced capacity. By accommodating fewer customers, the venues are able to support social distancing protocols. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals maintain a distance of at least six feet when out in public. By spacing tables this far apart, restaurant and bar owners are doing their part to support the recommended social distancing protocols. In order to achieve this space, most venues have to limit their capacity below the normal threshold.
Expanding Takeout and Delivery Options: The businesses that were the most successful during the early days of the pandemic were the ones that were able to quickly pivot their business model to accommodate this temporary new way of life. For restaurants and bars, that meant expanding their takeout and delivery options to meet the demands of the lockdown. Even as states begin the delicate reopening process, these businesses are still enjoying a robust carryout option. Until patrons feel completely comfortable dining out again, the smart business owners will continue to offer a variety of takeout and delivery options to reach their loyal customers.
Chefs check out my comprehensive guide on how to open a restaurant in New York