What are some best practices restaurants can, but are not specifically required to follow, in order to comply with the commitments in the Iowa Hospitality Promise?
Importantly, restaurants are already experts in safe food handling and sanitation, and so many of their routine practices will go a long way towards fulfilling the commitments in the Iowa Hospitality Promise.
Different strategies will be appropriate for different restaurants at different times, but the following are ideas that can be implemented or adapted to fit a restaurant’s needs:
- ALL STAFF NOT FEELING WELL WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO WORK.
- Tables that will not be used due to table separation must be visibly marked as RESERVED or NON-OCCUPIABLE.
- Floor plans need to be revised to accommodate ½ capacity per room, and tables arranged to provide separation.
- Storage boxes will be maintained and labeled “Non-sanitized” to place menus in after they have been pulled from the tables.
- Those menus would then get sanitized by host using a CDC approved sanitizer and placed into storage box labeled “Sanitized”.
- All tables, chairs, booths and other flat surfaces shall be cleaned with a CDC approved sanitizer.
- Countertops in bar and server stations need to be sanitized with a CDC approved sanitizer every 30 min.
- Bar counter tops and all visible work spaces will be cleaned immediately after a guest leaves or on every hour. This is to include cooler handles, POS terminal screens, cooler doors, serving counters, TV remotes, phones, light switches, thermostats, and writing utensils, etc.
- Seating at bar needs to be separated by 6’ per family or group.
- Sanitize every 30 Minutes.
- Door Handles – Front doors, bathroom entrance doors, bathroom door latches, sink faucets
- Host desk/counter
- Pagers/if being used
- Open table tablets
- Stay socially distanced from guest/guests when walking to the table.
- Take the most direct, but least congested route to the table.
- When on a wait use pagers or cell phone texts while encouraging guests to wait in their car.
- Immediately after handling payment transactions staff must use hand sanitizer of 60% or greater alcohol content located near each POS terminal .
- Make Hand Sanitizer/Hand Wipes available at all entrances/multiple locations in the wait area.
- Do not pre-set tables.
- No water pitchers on tables. Bring water upon request, just like any other beverage.
- No salt & pepper shakers on the tables. Serve individual packets upon request.
- No condiments on tables. Serve individual packets upon request.
- No sugar containers on tables. Serve individual packets upon request
- Once served to a table, ALL packets must be thrown away. DO NOT serve to another table.
- Establish mandatory hand washing time protocols and requirements –
- Hand washing conducted at the same time in 30 minute intervals.
- Recommended kitchen sets timers, work stops, and staff washes.
- Switch gloves to blue nitriles for food handling.
- Establish glove wearing procedures.
- Require all employees handling pre-consumed food to wear gloves
- All bar backs will be required to wear gloves while behind the bar
- If possible, all employees wear gloves
- Dish deck wear mid forearm gloves
- Use hand sanitizer/sanitizer wipes to sanitize hands between seating each guest/guests.
- Do not touch your face with your hands, etc.
- Follow normal rules of no beverages or food at the host area/desk.
- Change gloves after finishing task at hand. (after washing barware before making and serving drinks; after each group that came together is served, etc.)
- Side work charts to include:
- Mandatory station sanitation
- Wiping down and sanitation of equipment
- Wash and sanitize food and contact surface on an increased basis
- Change out utensils that are in direct food contact on a frequent basis
- Ensure all hand sinks are easily accessible, stocked with warm water, soap and paper towels.
- Wash, rinse and sanitize, disinfect handles on equipment, coolers and other pieces of equipment on a timely basis.
- Ensure all cleaners need to meet or exceed the recommended CDC guidelines
- Perform training highlighting sanitation procedures and reinforce sanitizing, cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
- Ensure all employees are trained in proper handwashing procedure and monitored regularly.
- Remind employees to avoid face, eye and mouth contact verbally and with signage.
Food and Beverage Handling
- Require food handler certification of all employees.
- Rinse fruit and vegetables before cutting or eating. Rinse raw agricultural products such as heads of lettuce in running water prior to serving. Bagged food items such as lettuce do not require washing.
- All bartenders while making a drink need to wear gloves and eliminate hand to glass contact.
- All fruit garnishes will now be served on a fruit pick or placed in drink with the use of a small tong, need to eliminate hand to food contact.
- All drinks will be served without a straw. If guest requests a straw, locations need to have pre-wrapped straws available upon request.
- All fruit will be cut while wearing gloves. (kitchen and bar)
- All beer bottles/wine bottles/liquor bottles will be opened with a gloved hand.
- All restocking of dish and glassware shall be handled by a gloved hand.
- All glassware that is cleaned behind the bar must be handled by a gloved hand after the final rinse/dry period.
- In order to avoid cross contamination all mixed drinks/glasses of wine will be refilled using the same original glassware, without making hand contact in front of the guest. Draft beer will be served in a new glass, being served by an employee with a gloved hand each time.
- Inform guests of all mitigation efforts over the phone before they arrive.
- Use signage outside (sandwich boards, etc.) and in the gift shop, restrooms to explain mitigation efforts.
- Position a host outdoors so guests wait outside of entry.
- During peak times when a wait list is required, use texting system so guest can wait in their car, or exercise appropriate social distancing.
- Make and enforce a 15-30 min ongoing schedule for cleaning and sanitizing.
- Place sanitizer wipes on counter.
- Mount (where it works) foot handles or kick plates to assist with opening door.
- Have maintenance/cleaning crew spray a sanitizing solution on all surfaces using a pump sprayer.
- Install disposable paper towel dispensers where they are not already installed.
- Place trash can outside of door so people can use a paper towel to open/close door and have place to put paper towel after.
How should participating restaurants communicate the commitments of the Iowa Hospitality Promise?
It’s vital that restaurants communicate the commitments directly to their staff and monitor compliance. Restaurants and bars should also take steps to communicate their enrollment in the Iowa Hospitality Promise by posting the required notice at entrances, and if the restaurant uses a website or social media, through those channels as well.