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The COVID-19 outbreak has completely changed the game for restaurants. Dining rooms are closed, and restaurants have had to adapt quickly to operate using only curbside, takeout and delivery pickup. Here is a simple guide that we have put together for restaurants to run a clean, contactless curbside pickup operation.

1. Clean Surfaces

Make sure that all surfaces are cleaned every day with detergent and water, then disinfect them. COVID-19 can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. [more info…]

Note: Don’t forget to clean frequently-touched surfaces, including door knobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, and tablets.Products with Ethanol and 2-Butoxyethanol are not recommended to clean tablets.

2. Employee Preparation

All employees must wash hands and wear gloves at all times. Once an employee leaves their station, gloves should be disposed of, hands washed, and new gloves should be worn.  Masks are recommended for all employees. Employees should continue to practice distancing from each other with 6 feet being the minimum safe distance. Finally, no employee that feels ill, has an elevated temperature or knows they were exposed to a person who has symptoms should come to work.

3. Seal Bags

Once food is ready, place the order in a to-go bag and seal it with a sticker or tie. It should remain sealed from the moment it leaves your restaurant to the moment the customer opens the meal at home, including delivery orders. Employees handling the bags should wear gloves, and the gloves should be changed if the employee has to handle something other than the bags (i.e. a door handle). It is not recommended to attempt to disinfect gloves, so dispose of old gloves and use new gloves each time.

4. The Handoff

Food runners should always wear gloves and not use their hands when opening the door to the restaurant. For curbside pickup orders, signal to the customer to pop the trunk or roll down a window in the backseat, away from people. For contactless doorside pickup, the food runner should put the sealed bag in a place that the customer can pick it up without coming within 6 feet from anyone. If customers are waiting outside for their order, make sure that they are spaced out 6 feet from each other (some restaurants even put marks on the ground as a guide).

Note: If the employee touches the restaurant door, customer’s car, or another surface, gloves must be disposed of, hands washed, then a new pair of gloves must be worn.

5. Unpacking at Home

When customers return home with the order, they should bring the food in, then wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. The food should be taken out of the containers and transferred to their own dishes, then they should wash their hands again. If you would like to keep the bag and/or packaging, please store the items for at least three days. Don’t forget to wipe down any surfaces the containers touched. [more info…]

Other Best Practices

Use a location-based system to manage pickup orders

A location-based system will help you know when your customers are arriving and where they have parked (for curbside) so you can have their order ready and bring it to them without customers trying to enter the store or lingering around.  At Radius Networks, we are offering a free version of our FlyBuy solution for 90-days to help businesses get a location-based curbside and doorside process up and running.   

Tipping is important, but make it electronic

Businesses are hurting, but so are employees, and tips are an important boost to hourly compensation for restaurant workers.  However, handling cash is problematic when trying to maintain a safe environment, so electronic tipping is encouraged. Online ordering systems and delivery services typically allow tipping during the ordering process.  Make sure your mobile app also has tipping in the order flow. If not, use a service like Venmo or PayPal for your customers to send tips.

Stay safe, and support your local businesses

Using these best practices will ensure that your restaurant does its part to prevent the spread of coronavirus. At this point, the CDC says there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. So let’s all do our part to keep it that way!