Restaurants Fight the Flu!
The current influenza season is the most widespread since the H1N1 pandemic of 2009-2010. Restaurants, where multiple people are handling food, utensils and glassware, are breeding grounds for influenza germs. Special consideration should be paid to keep both your employees and your customers safe from the influenza virus. There are financial implications if half of your staff calls in sick and your customers get sick from eating in your restaurant.
Here are 4 Ways to help stop the spread of the flu in your establishment:
Send Sick Employees Home - Whether for fear of losing their job or missed pay, restaurant workers often come to work when they shouldn’t. Sick employees, front-of-house or back-of-house, should never be tolerated in your restaurant. They will only infect others.
Enforce Hand Washing Procedures - Make sure you have written hand washing procedures in place. All employees must be trained on how and when to wash their hands and these policies must be enforced. Hand washing is advised after touching any part of the face, coughing, smoking, taking out the trash, and in between food handling jobs, just to name a few. Frequent hand washing greatly reduces the spread of the flu.
Sanitize - Have hand sanitizers readily available for both employees AND customers in as many areas as possible (e.g. wait stations, bars and bathrooms). Remember Hand Sanitizers to not replace, but work in conjunction with, proper hand washing. It is also important to sanitize items or areas in your restaurant that customer come in contact with – menus, table top signage, hand rails, door knobs, etc. Work these items and areas into your shift cleaning checklists.
Train Proper Health Habits – People have an unconscious habit of touching their face, which is the primary way germs are spread. Your staff must understand that they can transfer germs to themselves or others, as well as onto service items through their actions. Train your staff to be aware of this habit and that they must wash their hands afterwards. Also train your staff on how to properly handle items that touch or have touched guests’ mouths, both when setting and clearing tables.
Beyond getting vaccinated, keeping sick employees out of your restaurant and following good health habits can keep your staff able-bodied and your customers coming back throughout this flu season.
Don’t know where to begin? Ask yourself, do you have the proper written procedures and operational guidelines in place so your manager can help you be as profitable as possible? 4Q Consulting can develop customized operational guidelines and training programs to meet your needs. Email us today for a free business consultation!
All original content copyright Noelle E. Ifshin, 2012-2013.