For Team Members & Guests

The COVID-19 outbreak means foodservice operations must adapt to ensure the safety of guests and employees. While food safety has always been priority, more broad-based infection prevention protocols should now be implemented. As restaurant dining areas begin to reopen, carry-out and delivery will continue to be a significant portion of business.

In all scenarios, employee health monitoring, hand hygiene, social distancing and additional food safety, cleaning, and disinfecting measures are part of the foreseeable future for foodservice providers.


Begin with these official CDC, FDA and ServSafe guidelines

Essential facility standards:

  • Thoroughly ‘detail-clean' and sanitize your entire facility and put protocols in place to do so more often.1
  • Conduct an evaluation of your facility to identify and apply operational changes required to maintain social distancing.1
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (door handles, digital devices*, bathroom fixtures, chairs, tables, etc.) extensively using EPA-registered disinfectants.1 To be effective against COVID-19, refer to EPA’s List N. These disinfectants can also be used on food contact surfaces followed by a rinse of potable water.
  • Establish designated pick-up zones for customers’ take out orders to help maintain social distancing.1
  • Practice social distancing when delivering food by offering “no touch” deliveries and sending text alerts or calling when deliveries have arrived.1

Essential facility standards:

Employees who are sick should remain at home (Graphic)

Employees who
are sick should remain at home2

Face coverings can mitigate infection risk to/from others (Graphic)

Face coverings can mitigate infection risk to/from others2

Maintain six-foot distance when possible (Graphic)

Maintain six-foot distance when possible2

Wash hands frequently (Graphic)

Wash hands frequently2

Soap & Water vs. Alcohol-based Sanitizer (Graphic)

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol2

Avoid touching your face (Graphic)

Avoid touching your face2

Even as sit-down operators pivot to more delivery and pick-up options, some rules of foodservice never change. For instance, with delivery and take-out, maintaining time and temperature controls and mitigating surface to surface cross-contamination are essential:

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold by storing in appropriate transport vessels.2
      • Keep cold foods cold by keeping enough coolant materials, e.g., gel packs.2
      • Keep hot foods hot by ensuring insulated cases are properly functioning.2
  • Keep foods separated to avoid cross-contamination, e.g., keeping raw foods separated from cooked and ready-to-eat foods.2
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting:
      • Coolers and insulated bags used to deliver foods2
      • Delivery vehicle interior/exterior (including steering wheels and door handles)
      • Mobile phones and other digital devices

Guests will also need to clearly see heightened cleaning and sanitizing protocols in action to feel comfortable. Protecting patrons and staff — and making both feel safe in the front-of-house — will be key.

To secure dining rooms and reassure returning patrons, operators must consider new guidelines presented by the CDC, FDA and ServSafe.

Essential front of house standards:

  • Updating dining room floor plans to ensure six feet of separation between table setups1
  • Posting signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 will be permitted inside1
  • Requiring waitstaff to wear face coverings as recommended by the CDC1
  • Using technology solutions to limit / reduce person-to-person interaction (e.g., mobile ordering, menu tablets, text on arrival for seating, contactless payment options)1
  • Providing hand sanitizer or hand sanitizing wipes for guests to use1
  • Cleaning and sanitizing reusable menus (paper menus should now be discarded after each use)1

Visual cues like seeing employees wiping down surfaces regularly to clean, sanitize and disinfect will help alleviate concerns. For EPA-registered disinfectants effective against COVID-19, refer to EPA’s List N Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)3

Recommended measures for disinfecting consumer-facing parts of the restaurant include:

Additional focus should be put on high-touch surfaces in the dining room and restrooms such as:

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  1. ServSafe/National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Reopening Guidance: A Guide For The Restaurant Industry
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/airport-retail-factshee…
  3. To be included in this list, a product must have an emerging pathogen claim or be able to kill a human coronavirus. Sani Professional Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes (EPA Reg. No. 9480-5) have a claim against a human coronavirus.
  4. https://www.nrn.com/operations/how-should-restaurants-clean-coronavirus-cases