One of the biggest change in the post pandemic lockdown world is public perception of cleanliness and hygiene.
It has been shown in an experiment conducted in Japan that virus can spread in a very easy fashion on buffets.
With people scared and not willing to take a risk, restaurants are subject to more scrutiny. In India the most popular restaurant experience was the all you can eat buffet.
In the video you can see how easily your guest can get infected and possibly spoil your reputation as an establishment.
In order to minimize the risk, experts have come up with a guidelines for ensuring minimum transmission.
On this page we are just capturing some post Covid rules for restaurants. Ofcourse it is essential to check with the FSSAI and local government rules and ensure you are following them.
Front of the House Guidelines
Start Screening Guest: Before you let your clients in ensure the first check is at the entrance of the restaurant. Check the guest for their body temperature using infrared thermometers. If the guest has a temperature higher than the normal body temperature, politely refuse entry to the guest.
Have a hand wash facility with soap and sanitizer: I am very sure that you always had soap, but you may have to add sanitizer in hand wash facility to ensure you are compliant with the regulation. When using sanitizer , ensure that the alcohol content is more than 70% to ensure effective sanitation
Maintain your fresh air intake: There are rules regarding air conditioned restaurants that many government have released. Ideally keep your restaurant well ventilated. If you have a central HVAC system, increase the fresh air intake so that the air is recycled more times per hour.
Sanitize high touch point areas: Ensure all areas like the door knobs, handles, telephones dining tables are frequently sanitized. Ensure correct dilution to ensure effective sanitisation.
Spread out the tables: This is where the restaurant pain starts. Most restaurants are calibrated to ensure maximum revenue per square feet. When you adhere to government guidelines of spreading out your restaurant table, your restaurant may accommodate fewer tables.
While this is essential to prevent spread of infection, make sure you do take steps to increase revenue and save cost
- Start home delivery or takeaway. Tie up with 3rd party aggregators to deliver your food to replace some lost business. However remember to calculate the commission charges for the service so that it is profitable.
- Hire people on temporary positions to fill need periods. This has been effectively been followed in the western countries for a while. Try to keep limited regular staff and then based on requirement, get people on contract. Post your job on our job board to attract suitable talent.
- Decrease the menu items to keep sunk cost low. More menu items mean more mise-en-place and more spoilage.
- Avoid buffet to keep your guest and team members safe, but also to manage food waste. A grand buffet has an advantage of feeding people quickly and efficiently. However it may be expensive waste of food. Conserve money by avoiding un-necessary buffet.
Encourage contact less menu design and digital transaction: It is very easy to go contact less using your own qr code to display the menu. If you cannot do that, print your menu on paper that can be discarded after every use. For money transactions try to move digital. Your bank will help.
Back of the House Guidelines
If your kitchen and receiving areas are cramped, you will have to try your best to maintain social distancing .
You can do that by
- Creating work stations that are spread out
- Re organising the flow of work
- Reducing the menu option
- Receiving materials using guidelines
Implement HR practices that can help people report sickness: If you implement a no work no pay policy, people will just pop in a medicine even if they are not well and report to work. That can harm everyone as your employees can be at most risk to infection.
Provided adequate supply of masks, chef caps and gloves: You may have to insist on practices that were never followed before. Ensure your team wears masks and gloves and caps to prevent cross contaminating food items.
We did our own internal study to understand the cost implication.
We took a 100 cover restaurant with 50 covers occupied. Then we went about implementing all government guidelines.
What we found out was that it will increase your cost by Rs. 24 per cover. This includes the cost of gloves, masks, sanitizers, as well as implementing thrash collection etc.
If you wish to calculate how much it will cost you to operate your restaurant, here is a easy calculator
Once the restriction on 50% occupancy goes down and guest start to return to this cost will go down. Also your purchase price will also impact your overall cost.
The first priority is to survive. Rebuild our business. Make your guest confident with the safety measures you are following. Once you do that, by following the guidelines, you can focus on revival.