Offering Food Deliveries and Pickups During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to COVID-19, more restaurant businesses have added delivery, takeout or other pickup options. This can include:
- Meal kits
- Mail-order food
- Curbside pickup
Continuing to serve food to customers is important because it helps keep profits coming in, but keeping your customers and employees safe needs to remain your top priority.
As a restaurant owner, there are three things to focus on:
- Food safety
- Employee safety
- Business safety
Running a restaurant during this pandemic can be stressful. We know this is unlike any other time we’ve experienced, but every day we continue to learn how to get through it. These resources we’ve put together are made to help you as you manage your restaurant and strive to keep your employees safe during this season.
It's critical that your employees must safely handle food and packaging. The Food and Drug Administration recommends restaurants to observe food safety practices for:
- Controlling time and temperature
- Preventing cross contamination
- Cleaning hands
- Storing food
It’s also essential that your business follows cleaning and disinfecting protocols. This can include:
- Emphasizing effective hand hygiene
- Washing, rinsing and sanitizing food contact surfaces
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are repeatedly touched
Read more on food safety on the FDA’s website.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a guide for employers to help keep their workplaces safe during the pandemic. OSHA’s guide includes steps you can take to help protect your employees, like:
- Developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan
- Implementing basic infection prevention measures
- Creating procedures to identify and isolate sick people
- Providing workplace flexibilities and protections
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, you can help keep your employees safe during deliveries or curbside pickup by enforcing a mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) policy.
If you need to hire delivery drivers, be sure to check their backgrounds and driving records. It’s a good idea to require drivers to have at least five years of driving experience. This can help reduce your business’ liability while drivers are out on the road.
Don’t forget to get the right insurance to help protect your business, like commercial auto coverage or hired and non-owned auto insurance. Having the right policy can help protect your employees on the road while making deliveries.
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