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F&B at a glance

Handwashing – COVID-19 is creating a new requirement for peoples safety, taking changes to restaurants or restaurant-style venue into account. Washing hands prior of entering the food serving area is part of the ‘New Normal’, forcing industry leaders to rethink the existing design. Some already have come up with innovative ideas, encouraging guests to wash their hands, and make it a part of the dining experience. It is paramount to provide handwashing facilities that include clean running water, liquid soap and paper towels.

Entrance – Where practical, restaurants should separate exit and entry points to minimise contact and mitigate the potential risk of cross-contamination. Social distancing measures must be clearly visible. It became a best practice to install floor or wall markings or signs to identify the distance between persons for queues and waiting areas.

Reduced capacity – In recent months it became best practice to implement measures to restrict the number of guests in the restaurant, including maintaining the maximum number allowed of people at any one time. From an operational and risk mitigation point of view, the “Wait to be seated” is a tool and a key element to avoid that guests don’t sit down at tables that haven’t been disinfected/cleaned yet.

Go contactless – The restaurant should provide only sterilised menu’s, pens, handouts etc. Anything that requires sterilisation, such as menus or pens etc. should be put in a designated container (limit cross-contamination). Better is to provide menus in electronic format. For example, guests can view the menu by scanning a QR-Code with their personal smartphone.

Air flow – Adequate ventilation in public areas with fresh air rather than recycling air reduces the overall risk of spreading of communicable diseases.

Interior design – The coronavirus has caused to set up the interior in the restaurant a certain way to mitigate the overall risk. It has changed the way restaurants are now getting decorated and how to clean fabrics on upholstered furniture to keep people safe. Consider social distancing measures for the layout of your seating plan and select materials that are easy to clean.

Table setup – It is paramount that tables and chairs used by guests are cleaned after each use and before the next guest sits down. Tables should be placed a certain way to ensure that persons seated at those tables are 1.5 metres (minimum) apart and reduce the number of tables and seating capacity in line with public health directions.
Tableware – Dispense from the use of tablecloths as it can lead to cross-contamination. More importantly, is that service staff take extra precautions in case you are providing cloth napkins (wearing gloves during folding and when removing dirty napkins etc.). The industry is now discovering that tablecloths must be finally removed from the inventory list, which follows the general trend of the bare table surface concept in gourmet restaurants.

Service – All staff should receive a comprehensive COVID19 training. The training should include, the use of PPE, social distancing, disinfection procedures, donning & doffing and cross-contamination awareness. Staff shall wear face masks in enclosed public spaces and during circumstances where social distancing is not possible. It is important that all staff are practising Social Distancing and leading by example.

Dishwashing – Crockery, cutlery, and glassware need to be cleaned after each use, using a commercial-grade dishwasher or glasswasher. During the process of returning dirty dishes to the kitchen, staff should always be aware of the potential risk (communicable disease) and practice good personnel hygiene at all time to avoid cross-contamination. To prevent complacency, the management should conduct regular toolbox talks for the staff.

Kitchen – Chef’s shall wear face masks and practice good personal hygiene at all times. Food preparation areas must be cleaned frequently to reduce the potential risk of cross-contaminating the workspace in the kitchen. At this stage, restaurants should not provide self-service buffets, as the risk of spreading coronavirus is too high. Alternatively, a restaurant can offer contactless buffet-style food service, whereby the chef’s stand behind the buffet and dish out the food.

Duty of Care – Where practical, physical barriers should be installed, such as plexiglass around counters involving high volume interactions with customers to protect service staff from COVID19. It is paramount to clean any touchpoints and surfaces frequently with detergent or disinfectant, including shared equipment and tools, POS-Terminal, touchscreens, tables, countertops and sinks.

Exit – A designated exit in the restaurant will help to prevent confusion and convey the right message – A small detail that can make a big difference in COVID-19 safety. Signage, barriers and communication with the guests remain key! In the event of any emergency situation, the risk factors shall be prioritised and all staff should be aware.

Stay Safe

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We cover the following areas in the safety audit:

• Business Continuity Planning;
• Managing Risks / Managing the Pandemic;
• Crisis Communication;
• Social Distancing Front of House / Back of House;
• Fire Safety under COVID-19 parameter;
• Service Delivery (Rooms, F&B, Luggage Handling);
• Transport of guests;
• Cleaning under COVID-19 parameter;
• Food Handling under COVID-19 parameter;
• Logistics;
• Contactless payments;
• Training requirements;
• Changes to Hotel Security.

For more information please contact our COVID-19 Risk Navigators