The California Department of Public Health in collaboration with the California Department of Industrial Relations has created a set of guidelines meant to ensure the safety of employees and customers and cover a wide variety of important measures. Below you will find 5 key points of emphasis, you can view the entire document by clicking here.

1. Employee Safety

First, restaurants need to ensure that employees and any vendors, contractors or other workers that enter are not displaying any symptoms. To do this, temperature checks need to be done at the beginning of every shift in a manner that avoids close contact while both the screener and employee maintain face coverings. Screeners should also wear gloves to avoid contact with high use items such as temperature checks while the tests are being administered.

2. Restaurant Cleanliness

Next, restaurants need to thoroughly clean their high traffic areas such as waiting areas, break rooms and entrances/exits as well as high touch points like door handles and receipt trays. Fresh air circulation should also be maintained through the opening of windows and doors when possible and all efforts need to be taken to avoid the sharing of items such as phones, desks or other work supplies as well as customer items like condiment bottles and menus.

3. Customer Safety

Restaurants also need to protect customers by reducing the amount of contact that customers share with previous ones. For instance, menus are encouraged to be available online, in fact having a way for customers to order food even before they arrive would be ideal. If ordering in restaurant, menus should be disposable or, if not possible, disinfected before reuse. Presetting of tables also needs to be discontinued as any plating or cutlery should only be provided as a customer is being served, with nothing left at the table upon their departure.

4. Proper Employee Spacing

Employee spacing begins by preforming any regular meetings or trainings virtually or in a large area where 6 feet of separation can be maintained. In the restaurant, physical barriers need to be placed in high traffic areas, such as the payment counter, to protect employees and customers. Breaks need to be staggered in a way that allows employees to avoid crossing paths with one other. Restaurants also need to be prepared for some employees to request modified duties to reduce the risk of coming into contact with the virus, such as allowing someone that usually works as a cashier manage inventory instead.

5. Proper Customer Spacing

Takeout, delivery and drive-thru options should still be the prioritized means of serving customers. To reduce the amount of cross-traffic within the restaurant, outdoor seating can be expanded and should be the prioritized seating location. Customers coming to dine-in should be given reservation times that allow ample time to clean the previously used surfaces they will be exposed to and customers need to be asked to wait in their vehicle until their reservation time. Once their table is ready they should be notified through their phones rather than receiving a buzzer to avoid multiple people touching the same object.