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As you look to reopen your restaurant or business after Shelter-in-Place has ended, Cheetah has assembled some advice and helpful links from our industry experts and top customers. Follow this series for real advice, tips and resources.

With restaurants and bars anxiously awaiting to re-open for indoor dining, many are coming up with creative physical alterations to their space that keep both employees and guests safe from the spread of Covid-19.

To help keep your business going while adhering to social distancing guidelines, our team at Cheetah came up with these 5 strategies to guide your restaurant redesign.

Make Sure You Know the Rules

Take time to evaluate all the new rules and protocols for handling food according to the local health department, the FDA, and CDC. Make sure all employees adhere to the new guidelines and let customers know that you’ve updated your food safety and sanitation codes. Make a habit of staying up-to-date on guides and recommendations as new developments unfold every day.

Examine Your Restaurant for a Flexible Design

Restaurants are a dynamic environment, with many people moving about at all times. To comply with regulations, keep diners and staff from coming too close to one another while moving through your space.

Here are some ideas to implement:

  • Designate space for receiving supplies and unpacking them

  • Have employees enter separate areas from your guests

  • If your restaurant has two doors, assign one for entering and one for exiting

  • Changing and storage area should provide space for employees to don clean attire and PPE

To help you visualize the changes you need to make, create a scale plan of your space showing seating, bar areas, hallways, and food preparation areas.

The 6 Foot Rule Inside Is Not a Solution

If your space is suffering from inadequate ventilation, keeping the 6 feet rule will do little to stop the spread of the virus.

For the back of the house, ensure proper air flow of cooking vents. This will dilute the air and remove contaminants in the kitchen. For the front of house, develop a seating plan using flexible dining room supplies. For example, adapt booths with higher barriers and better ventilation and move tables around to accommodate larger parties.

Some areas pose a particular challenge like bar seating and self-service areas. To avoid running a higher risk for contamination, it’s best to remove or mark these areas as not available.

Expand into the Street

It’s time to reclaim the public realm! Restaurants have always served the public and during the pandemic this has never been more true. Employees and owners have been working around the clock to ensure operations are safe to feed people. Many local governments have enacted new regulations to allow dining in streets and public spaces. Take advantage of this new space to make up for any lost revenue inside.

Design in Trust

Remember that people are still anxious about dining out. And besides, it won’t do any good to make alterations to your restaurant if no one knows about your new working plan and how to stand by it.

To restore trust, present clear sight-lines and prepare as much food in the open to show safe food handling. Communicate your new ordering and pickup procedures. Use highly visible signs to direct and manage the flow of people through the restaurant including floor and wall markings.

Be sure to explain your plan to all staff and offer them support through safe working conditions. Remind employees to always wear a mask and ask them to make sure patrons do the same when getting up from their tables.

Let Cheetah Do the Rest

Every great meal starts with fresh, tasty ingredients. These days, going to the market and handpicking tomatoes is a luxury few restaurant owners can afford. With half your staff and not a moment to spare, you need a supplier that can help you automate the ordering process and stock up on everything you need, whenever you need it. Cheetah helps you replenish your shelves and fridges with all the supplies you need to create those delicious meals, while you just focus on serving hungry customers.

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