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  • Life After Lockdown For Restaurants – 50 Changes To Be Undertaken

    Published on May 21, 2020

    The National Health Mission (NHM), the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are not aware of any reports at this time that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. The guidelines in general ask for increased cleaning and disinfection, as well as social distancing and increased personal hygiene.

    SMAAASH has currently drafted a checklist for food facilities that have been completely closed for reopening, even if it’s just for takeout as well. The upcoming checklist includes physical, operation and inspection items that need to be addressed before reopening.


    From Government’s side a timeline has not been given yet for when the checklist would be finalized from their side. A key component is signage, which we think businesses will be asked to place a copy of their protocols in a visible location so customers can make an informed decision whether the business is responsible in protecting its employees and customers from virus exposure. All recommendations for reopening will also encourage social distancing and the wearing of facial coverings.


    1. Servers will be wearing gloves and masks & will be changed, every 4 hours. Handwashing should include using soap and warm water, scrubbing all portions of hands and fingers for 20 seconds, rinsing with warm running water, and drying with a single-use towel & then Gloves to be worn.
    2. 5 ft Table distance will be followed. Proper Placement of tables in the restaurant area is key.
    3. Microbiologist on board for swab tests of Utensils, dishes, glasses, kitchen and kitchen staff. Surfaces that are visibly dirty should be cleaned with detergent and rinsed before being disinfected. Possible with big establishments only.
    4. Only guests from same family coming in group would be sharing the tables. As consumers increasingly bring their own bags, advice to consumers to keep the bags at the entrance or in locker area which is to be created to avoid any virus entry inside the premises.
    5. Not letting our guests touch the doors and minimize the surface contact. Ensure adequate supply and convenient placement of alcohol-based hand sanitizers for use by customers inside food establishment.
    6. All table mats removed after every use, paper mats disposable to be used.
    7. Expect lots of temperature checks within the premises and one-way routes, as experienced in China for better results.
    8. At the bar, alternate stools will be filled. Everyone has to be thermal scanned for temperature too. If staff wakes up with a cough, they’re supposed to call in.
    9. Office meetings will be limited, and large gatherings are out of the question.
    10. Disinfecting stores three times a day. Have sanitary wipes for the pens and have a tray for customers to deposit their credit cards in.
    11. Buffets and salad/dessert bars will be re-thought. Platters to be discontinued.
    12. Self-ordering kiosks may also get pulled back. It was a good before, but not so good today. If customer self-service is done within the establishment, consider additional employee oversight so contaminated surfaces can be cleaned, and any contaminated food or utensils can be removed.
    13. More restaurants should try to adopt phone pay. So not having to hand your money or card to anyone.
    14. Rethinking bathrooms and looking into touch-less soap dispensers.
    15. Smoking Rooms to be shut.
    16. Staff takes temperature and goes over COVID-19 symptoms checklist everyday. A restaurant’s cleanliness and food safety will matter more to me after the lockdown.
    17. Staff will be asked to take lunch and other breaks in secluded locations & social distancing to be followed.
    18. 3 Pairs of new uniforms to be provided to staff. Restricting non-essential physical contact as much as possible between staff.
    19. Taped marks on the ground indicating six feet and sticker boxes showing where people can’t stand during waiting time for table.
    20. Digitalization of the menu, for contact less ordering.
    21. Share feedback digitally on mobile through SMS, instead of physical feedback forms.
    22. Maintain the right air quality inside restaurant would automatically make the guests feel at ease. (No proof yet medically on this yet). This is for safety pt. of view.
    23. Maintain right pH levels and PPM levels in the water used by guests. (No proof yet medically on this yet). This is for safety pt. of view.
    24. Appropriate light in bar area to elevate mood. Making regular announcements to remind customers to follow physical distancing advice and clean their hands regularly.
    25. Welcome drinks will no longer be the same, rather an immunity-boosting Hot lemon water with honey would be preferred.
    26. Health food menu special to be introduced will gain even more importance with a large part of the audience to boost immunity.
    27. Opening Restaurant with select menu & popular dishes only.
    28. Beer Towers, shareable drink Pitchers to be discontinued. Should consider not openly displaying or selling unwrapped bakery products from self-service counters.
    29. Vendor dealings for sourcing raw items to be made more strict & hygiene standards to be followed.
    30. Planning of rehire all full-time staff to resume operations will be difficult task due to lockdown inter-state travel restrictions. Tipping money to servers will be more than before after the lockdown.
    31. It’s possible we’ll see new outdoor open patios opened to a limited number of seated orders for time being.
    32. Senior hours to be made in effect in many restaurants- giving people over 65 the opportunity to eat drink before the general population could carry over.
    33. We just procrastinate simpler things in life like washing hands at all times, cleaning our surroundings, taking care of ourselves, eating healthy food, 15-min daily exercising and much more. But when a pressing need is presented to us, all of us as human beings have the tendency to learn and follow. As organizations, it is equally our responsibility to ensure that we present this pressing need to our staff continuously. This would help us to ensure that our staff is healthy, environments are safe and there is perfect harmony leading to more productivity and safety.
    34. Before Opening the outlet for general public everyday- Open up every area of the building and ensure a proper disinfection is done daily.
    35. Every desk space, corners, lifts, staircase handles, door knobs, chair handles, electrical switch points etc to be cleaned/ disinfected.
    36. Have enough educational material around for staff to understand the key principles to be followed. Staff who is unwell should be given a mask & not allowed to enter.
    37. Re-evaluate the attendance biometric systems and find alternatives, if possible.
    38. Drinking water facilities to have disposable cups for staff. They should not have glasses that people use and wash.
    39. Staff should carry their own water bottles and tea/coffee mugs & spoons plates for meals during office hours. They should clean it themselves rather than sending it for someone to clean. Else use disposable ones.
    40. Place mats at the entrance that could be dipped in 1% sodium hypochlorite (and changed every 2 hours) to ensure the footwear is clean. Make sure the area is not slippery though.
    41. Staff should sign an online declaration where they should confirm the following:

    a. Do you have fever, cough, cold, body pains etc ?

    b. Did you travel anywhere in the last few weeks ?

    c. Do any of your family members have any of the above symptoms or travelled abroad/ anywhere?

    d. Were you in-person contact with suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 ? Did you/ close family member participate in any meeting/ gathering where more than 15 people attended in the past 6 weeks?

    1. Human Resources/welfare department of the organization should consider above points as a key to a productive workforce. They should ensure that the team members attend this course and complete all credits for an annual evaluation.
    2. Reduce mental health stigma. The best ways of reducing stigma were believed to be raising awareness of mental health issues and telling people that it’s quite normal to feel that way and have those feelings.
    3. Be receptive to suggestions from staff and support personnel. Input is empowerment and provides a sense that these staff retains some control over their situation. If suggestions are not acted on, clear explanations as to why they were not should be provided and alternatives should be explored.
    4. The vaccines you need as an adult are determined by many factors including your age, lifestyle, health condition, and which vaccines you’ve received during your life. As an adult, vaccines are recommended for protection against: Seasonal influenza (flu) – Every staff has to provide certificate – should get a flu vaccine as the best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications before joining office. We don’t want staff to carry & pass any germs to fellow staff & customers.
    5. More likelihood of subdued sentiments for some time in discretionary spending .  A trade-off between revenue and operating cost might necessitate limiting scope of operations. We will reach out to all our patrons via our CRM platform . This will be backed with campaigns on social media including Smaaash handles. Smaaash has a dedicated customer contact centre which mostly caters to corporate events & queries , in current scenario we would redirect resources from this team for reaching out to families and kids for operations & footfalls. Channels  like customer Play#Testimonial , Voice#Smaaash etc will be used to build further confidence.
    6. Communication strategy will hover around highlighting  how Smaaash has fine-tuned its Tactical plan and adopted  operating practices in line with advisory from Government and guidelines from various Industry bodies. Team as well is  ideating a storytelling mode of communication for our Brand communication , this to convey Rules of partying and code of conduct in a fun filled manner taking help of visual footage wherever possible.
    7. Moving from multiple entrances to single entrance for better control. SOP where facility will be colour zoned for effective sanitization by the housekeeping as per requirement & timeline.
    8. Kitchen and F&B hygiene including tagging of materials and their movements  with color coding & dates.
    9. Finally, Smaaash will as well be consulting medical professionals , we have team of advisors on board along with advisory issued by  government , industry and Mall management.


    The world is facing an unprecedented threat from the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (referred to as the COVID-19 virus). Many countries are following the advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the introduction of physical distancing measures as one of the ways in which transmission of the disease can be reduced. The application of these measures has resulted in the closure of many businesses, schools, and institutes of education, and restrictions on travel and social gatherings. For some people, working from home, teleworking, and on-line or internet discussions and meetings are now normal practices. Food industry personnel, however, do not have the opportunity to work from home and are required to continue to work in their usual workplaces. Keeping all workers in the food production and restaurant industry healthy and safe is critical to surviving the current pandemic. This is also required to maintain trust and consumer confidence in the safety and availability of food. The purpose of these guidelines above is to highlight these additional measures so that the integrity of the restaurant industry is maintained, and that adequate and safe environment is available for consumers.