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Part Three: Team Training and Staffing

Your new operating plan for health and safety is only as strong as your team’s dedication to upholding it. This section focuses on technology, training, and staff.

Restaurant staff in a meeting with an overlay of a training manual

Follow Guidance

Lean on Technology

Updating Staff Schedules

PPE Requirements

kyle teas - eugenes hoston

“We opened on May 1st at 25% capacity. Our servers are wearing masks and gloves. Patrons are not, because you can’t eat with a mask. It’s an interesting dynamic.”

Kyle Teas | Founder and President, Eugene's Houston

Follow Guidance

Make sure you’re familiar with best practices shared by U.S. regulatory bodies and your city’s requirements before your next steps. 

From there, you draft a plan to: 

1. Implement strategies, 

2. Train staff initially, 

3. Remind staff over time. 

Sources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Restaurant staff working at a table

“Consider having a shift leader to become your COVID-19 expert. Showing control and confidence will help jumpstart your ability to regain traction with your team and guests.”

David Rodolitz | Co-Founder of Empellon and Founder of RK Hospitality Group

Lean on Technology

Temperature Tech to Be Aware of

There are devices that you can use to identify and check staff members' temperatures at the start of a shift. You can also use contactless thermometers as a noninvasive touch point with guests before they enter your restaurant.

Contactless Thermometer

You can purchase a low-cost contactless thermometer for $80-90 and have one device for front-of-house guests and one back-of-house for your staff.

example contactless thermometer

New-to-Market Temperature Tech

Temperature Check Tablet with Heat Mapping

For less price-sensitive restaurants to use at the host stand to check guest temperatures

Personal Temperature Kiosk for Staff

Face ID and automatic temperature-taking for your staff

Note: If you plan to take employees’ temperatures, there are steps you should take in advance: 

  • Inform your employees and plant to record only “above” or “below” logs of temperatures, per CDC guidelines.

  • Be aware that employees sent home may be entitled to paid leave under the FFCRA, state, or local law.

a screen shot of a video game
source: TAURI temperature check tablet by Glorystar, Personnel Management Kiosk by Meridian

Staff Education Technology

StopCovid.co is a technology powered by ESL Americans, with easy, mobile-first training for workers. Your staff members receive training in easy-to-digest texts, and you receive easy-to-digest reports showing their progress. 

The training covers these eight areas of expertise:

COVID-19 basics

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

How to properly wash your hands

When you should wash your hands

Hand sanitizer best practices

How to sanitize your phone

Disinfecting common surfaces

a drawing of a face

Where and when to use a mask

Morgan Tucker

“This has always been an industry responsible for creating products that go into people’s bodies. It’s important to convey the message that we are still taking every precaution to protect our community.”

Morgan Tucker | Singer Equipment

Updating Staff Schedules

Adjust staff schedules to minimize contact among staff members. A tip from Hong-Kong-based Black Sheep Hospitality Group:

“Consider splitting all your teams in two and scheduling so that the As and the Bs do not interact in-person. This limits the impact so if someone on the As becomes ill and the rest of the As need to self-isolate, hopefully, the Bs can still keep working.”

Black Sheep Hospitality Group (source)

Example: Group A works Mondays, Group B works Tuesday.

Personal Protective Equipment

Mandate that staff members wear masks and gloves for guest comfort

When we polled diners across the U.S., guest sentiment was overwhelmingly clear: diners want to see staff members wearing masks and gloves. Ignoring this desire almost guarantees a decline to your repeat visitor rate. 

Read Training Manual Best Practices
a screenshot of a cell phone

When we asked guests to give advice to restaurants, without prompting, over 10% of guests used the words “safe,” “protect” or “PPE.” On top of that, 18% of guests used the word “clean” in their answer. Use this to your advantage, telling your guest about what you’re doing to keep the dining experience safe and clean.

See More Findings

When it comes to finalizing requirements for your staff, keep in mind:

  • Following personal hygiene requirements recommended by the FDA to accompany PPE. 

  • Clarifying when a mask and gloves are required (role type and where on-premise) and location for staff members to find masks and gloves. 

  • Outlining any additional staff requirements and any new guest requirements (like completing health form). 

  • Giving front-of-house staff messaging to use for guests who inquire or complain. 

  • Maintaining or adding an open line of communication with your staff members via group chats or email.

  • Laying out the proper procedures for cleaning surfaces (example here of how to clean tables vs. electronics differently) and how to remove gloves properly (example here)

What Mask To Purchase for Your Staff?

Think about what’s reasonable for your staff members, effective for health & safety, and aesthetically-pleasing to guests. 

“Levels of interaction with guests require different types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Many don’t realize this, but a  surgical mask actually is not viable in a kitchen line. We have cotton daily masks, reusable face masks that follow CDC recommendations for 2-ply cotton, and we have neoprene masks.”

- Morgan Tucker, Singer Equipment 

Reminder: Training Requires Reinforcement

In a survey of food and beverage employees, 40% have stated that they are unsatisfied with their training. It is important that your training be clear, the content be engaging to employees, and that it doesn’t stop there. 

Your training should be living content that grows over time. Include signs in your kitchen and your staff room reminding employees of policies — like washing their hands and where to find hand sanitizer. 

Conclusion

This COVID-19 pandemic has affected our world. Our nation and our community have been forced to adapt in a way that is unprecedented. To say that things will go back to “normal” would be a lie. But together, we will create a new normal. And we will be stronger for it, connecting in ways that we never have before.

Always on your side,
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