2020 was expected to be the year when Venus or Mars was colonised by mankind, flew in flying cars or teleported, had brains permanently linked to the internet, and dealt with robots that self-replicate.Reality, far outweighs any science fiction. Aspirations lie, deflated as lives and companies return to the drawing board to reassess and rebuild, as a virus travelling the globe has brought us to our knees.
This has affected many industries, majorly affecting the Food and Beverage Industry. Currently with the Post-Lockdown situation it is different from reopening other types of retail businesses to reopen a restaurant. There are also particular technical problems that need to be dealt with. And then there are the regulatory challenges that might be much more complex during these tough times to deal with.
Things to know while restarting restaurants and what challenges to be prepared for:
- Communicate actively with your Employees:
Perhaps in reaction to COVID-19, your restaurant or food service businesses may have gone into complete hibernation, and you may not have been in close touch with your employees. However, now is the time to start opening up those communication lines.
Send out daily updates to your team. You want to have them prepared and think of a return to work, even though there may be no new information to tell.New policies and procedures that will need to be enforced as we ease back into normalcy are likely to occur. Provide them an additional health service, to balance the employee and workplace safety.
- Talk to Your Inspectors/ Abide by the Compliance Care:
The rules and laws differ significantly from place to place. But it is very likely that before you are permitted to legally fully function again, you will need to have a full, new set of inspections conducted. A certification of a Healthy Workplace will just help you pass all types of inspections.
When things start rolling, connections can be difficult to make and it can be hard to arrange if checks are to be completed. So it is in your best interests to start early.
- Inventory Problems & New Machinery and Supplies / Be aware of New Process and be prepared:
There are likely to be extra restrictions in place and if you want to be among the first to return to business, you will want to be sure you are ahead of the curve. You may need to instill a sanitation program that is effective and internationally recognised. Everyone has been hit due to this crisis, start earlier than you think you need to.
- Screen & Test your Employees:
Bringing employees back to work, means you need to screen them for communicable diseases, including COVID19 and other FSSAI Health Compliances and Vaccinations.
- Track your Employee Health:
Once you test your employees, it is important to keep tracking their health on a daily basis. This could be something as simple as installing a Thermometer and/or a Oximeter to check your Employee’s Body Temperature and/or Blood Oxygen levels – both considered to be indicators of an infection in their body, including COVID19.
The alternative would be to sign up for an advanced technology like vocal-biomarker tracker, which is more scalable and reliable.
- Provide for your Employees:
From a Healthcare Helpline to providing Medical Loans, you may need to implement a program that shows your employees that you care.
Following a prolonged closure, there is no single correct way to reopen a restaurant. For your business, not all of the items on this checklist would apply. But one thing which would be common, is being certified as a ‘Healthy Workplace’ for employees and customers. Get Healthy Workplace Certified and be back in the game with your competitors.