Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: post-pandemic restaurant operations.

Post-Pandemic Restaurant Operations

The New Normal 

It’s been almost two months since restaurants and bars around the country were forced to suspend dine-in services due to the coronavirus. But as we get accustomed to practicing social distancing and other health and safety measures, businesses are beginning to think about what their “new normal” will look like (though some suggest our life won’t go back to normal until 2021). While it’s impossible to say exactly what the future holds, restaurants should expect the following once they’re approved to reopen:  

  • A possible rolling lockdown. Business Insider suggests that the U.S. “may need to impose new lockdowns every 3 months until a coronavirus vaccine is available,” due to the possible reemergence of the disease from state reopening’sWith this considered, restaurants should be planning what team members they need to operate, how they’ll maintain staff, etc.  
  • Capacity restrictions. In cities and states that have begun reopeninglike South Carolina and Hong Kong, we’re seeing capacity restrictions placed on restaurants and retail stores (i.e. businesses that typically go against the notion of social distancing). It’s highly realistic that we’ll see restrictions on the number of people allowed in a business at once, so start to think about your business capacity at different percentages and how to enforce these rules.  
  • Continued need for contactless operations. Restaurants and grocery stores have turned to contactless delivery to offer an option that alleviates the concerns of social contact. Once stay-at-home orders are lifted, it’s believed that customers will still request contactless delivery or pick up to preserve safety boundaries.  
  • Maintaining general health and safety practices. In a recent post, we cover tips for reopening, like scheduled deep cleaning and preparing your team, which you can read about here 

Despite the fact that we’re all feeling ready to re-enter the world, it’s important to remember that there are thousands of new coronavirus cases reported every day. Being proactive yet realistic with your expectations will help you manage the eventual reopening of your business and keep your customers safe.