Restaurant Industry Recovery
Every industry in some way or the other took a massive hit this year. One of the hardest hit industries, the Restaurant Industry, has made strong and swift efforts to recover despite the many rules and regulations placed on them. Gliding past the obvious distress placed on finances and general morale, I would like to instead focus in on the day-to-day changes that have been implemented as a direct result of the pandemic. Below I will discuss how Oklahoma City Restaurants and Bars are combatting the toll of the pandemic in an action plan entitled: “Restaurant Industry Recovery.”
Every city has its own mandates and protocols for handling the coronavirus, for the purpose of this article we are speaking specifically of Oklahoma City. Here in OKC we are under the guidelines of the latest Emergency Executive Order which states:
•Maximum 50% capacity for all public gatherings, weddings, funerals and event centers, unless the venue has an agreed plan of action with their local jurisdiction or State Health Department.
•Bars and Restaurants must continue to set tables and booths a minimum of 6' apart or use barriers that can be cleaned and sanitized.
•Bars and Restaurants must close at 11:00 pm for on-premises service of food and beverages. Take out, delivery, and curb-side meals are still allowed after 11:00 pm.
•Masks must be worn by state employees in state buildings.
All things considered, OKC is not the hardest mandate to work with however times are still hard for the restaurant owners who were barely making ends meet even before the pandemic. So what now? What can we do?
The road to recovery…
The Oklahoma Restaurant Association has come up with 6 promises to help restaurants survive and thrive during these difficult times. In partnership with the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and State health officials, restaurant owners and operators make the commitments below to instill confidence and ensure the safety of customers during the COVID-19 recovery period.
- Our establishment will continue to be a leader in safe sanitation practices, and regularly train our managers and team members in industry approved food safety practices.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for customers and our employees who will also continue to follow protocols for hand washing.
- We will clean and sanitize all common areas including tables and chairs after every use
- We will comply with appropriate social distancing guidelines where indoor and outdoor waiting and seating is concerned.
- Place settings, utensils, menus, and condiments will either be disposable or cleaned and sanitized after every use
- We may post The Oklahoma Restaurant Promise at our entrances so everyone understands the steps we should all take to collectively keep our communities safe
There have been some fun inventions and ideas that have come out of the new regulations that will most likely stay in place after the pandemic as well. We all know about curb-side ordering these days, which dramatically reduces chances of exposure however it does not solve the issue of missing out of the dining experience. Some restaurants have sprung for individual tents, domes and yurts for guests to sit in while eating, secluding your table from others in the restaurant allowing you to have the “going out” feeling while staying safe (though this is only effective if everyone you are dining with is not sick themselves.) Even more, I have also seen plexiglass lampshades that go over the individual as he or she dines at the table. This 'lamp shade' method would be good for first dates or job interviews where you really do not know if the person you are sitting with is carrying the virus.