Tips for Making your Restaurant Safer for Diners

As restaurants work through the challenges of “the new normal,” the safety of customers, as well as staff members, is the number one concern. Here are some best practices for making your restaurant safer for guests.

As restaurants work through the challenges of “the new normal,” the safety of customers, as well as staff members, is the number one concern. Here are some best practices for making your restaurant safer for guests.

Retire the Printed Menus

Who wants to handle dirty menus then eat food? Printed menus carry an abundance of germs and bacteria that can easily be transferred to your diners who handle the menus. You may think wiping off the menus is a simple solution. But how do you know if the cleaning product removes 100% of the germs and bacteria? Even after wiping them down, your host or hostess is again handling them to distribute on the tables. On busy nights, there is an increased chance a host/hostess may unintentionally miss cleaning off a menu. There are too many risks to be taken, which is why restaurants should seek out a substitution to using printed menus. 

Single-use menus are not fully effective at preventing the transfer of germs and bacteria between guests and diners. Even if they are discarded after use, they are still touched and potentially breathed on by the host or hostess, the guest or guests (who often pass them between each other), and the server who removes and discards them. Plus they are expensive to print and discard after just one use.

Digital menus have proven to be a safe alternative to print, and many restaurants are turning to digital menus to tackle the problem of spreading germs and bacteria. When using digital menus, your restaurant is provided with a unique QR code that can be easily scanned with a phone camera. This prevents any touching of objects, other than the diners personal phone, since the QR codes can be placed along a bar or on the table by using a table tent, a sticker, or another preferable form of display. They can also be easily placed around the hostess stand or waiting area, so diners waiting to be seated can efficiently view the menu without asking for a printed menu. Learn more here.

Provide Hand Sanitation Stations

Another solution to ensure safety for your diners is providing hand sanitation stations for diners and employees. To prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, requiring diners to sanitize their hands at a hand sanitizing station upon entering your restaurant is a great idea. It is also useful to provide a similar station at the cash register or near the exit for people on their way out of the restaurant, who have just recently touched receipts, pens, and other high-touch items. Employees should frequently sanitize their hands at the stations as well, especially during busy hours when they may not have the time to wash their hands. Servers are handling the plates, utensils, and glasses that diners eat and drink from, so it is important they sanitize their hands prior to touching these items. They should also sanitize after retrieving used plates, utensils, and glasses from the table to take back to the dishwasher.

Gloves are another solution, but employees should still sanitize their hands prior to putting on gloves.

Frequently Wipe Surfaces and Clean High-Touch Areas

Another way to make your restaurant safer for diners is wiping down frequently touched surfaces. In restaurants, these surfaces include, but are not limited to, door handles, light switches, tables, and chairs. All door handles should be wiped often, these can include entrances and exits to the restaurant and kitchen, bathroom doors, and even bathroom stall handles and locks. If your restaurant does not have motion sensor faucets and paper towel dispensers, these should be wiped down often, as well. Also, tables should be wiped down very well after each use. Chairs and booth cushions should be wiped down, as well.

Don’t forget to replace the cloth you use to clean these services often! You don’t want to wipe surfaces with a dirty towel, or the surfaces will not come completely clean and more germs/bacteria can spread!

MenuSavvy provides a free, easy-to-use touchless menu platform that can be ready for your restaurant in minutes. Our platform generates allows users to build their menu and print a unique QR code, making it easy to start using in your restaurants. Click here to get started.