Bars, restaurants and clubs at full capacity according to the latest news from Texas Governor Gregg Abbott. The governor has also announced, that mask are no longer required at establishments. What does this mean for you business? Should your employees still wear masks? We break down the major points.
It has been over a year since the Corona virus hit Texas and what a year it has been. Especially for the restaurant and bar industry. Even the TABC had a hard time keeping up, as new rules and regulations were being put in place regularly in order to keep people safe. Now, all rules and regulations have been done away with and business can return to almost normal.
While mask have been deregulated, most major business are still choosing to enforce a mask policy in major cities where cases are still high. Others, have suggested that customers are fine but employees will remain in mask in order to stay safe. It is important to note that even though Governor Gregg Abbott is not enforcing a mask mandate, he does still suggest wearing a mask in order to stay safe. “We are still urging people to continue to wear the mask, to continue to use the safe practices that they have mastered over the past year,” Abbott said in an interview with Houston’s ABC13. “They know the right thing to do.”
We surveyed several bar and restaurant owners and one of the biggest concerns they had was keeping their employees from getting sick. If even one employee gets sick, it will spread through an entire restaurant really quickly. In order to stay safe employees are still wearing masks while working, restaurant attendees will only be required to wear mask upon arrival. This seemed to be the most common thread we have found. Most restaurant owners we asked also said that they would continue to have employees wear masks for at least a couple more months.
Now that bars, restaurant and clubs are at full capacity another concern was how packed is too packed? This comes down to preference. You must obey your standard capacity limit set by the fire department but the rest is up to the business owner. From the people we surveyed they suggested continuing spread tables out for at least a couple more months. Thankfully, the to-go industry has still been wide spread and has helped many local restaurants account for the lesser amount of tables.
Bars, unfortunately will have a harder time spreading out their customers. In this type of setting, people move around frequently. This again is completely up to the business owner of how many people do you want inside at any current moment.
What is the best thing to do now that Bars, restaurants and clubs are at full capacity?
So, what is the best thing to do? Talk to your employees! Your bartenders and waiters are the ones who put themselves out there, listen to what they have to say! If they are concerned about their health, or possibly a family member in their households health, it is best to stay on the safe route.
On top of talking to your employees look at the corona virus numbers in your specific area. While large cities are still dealing with the outbreak, many small cities have little to no cases. This can make a huge impact on how safe your servers feel.
What the CDC says?
Below is a quick list from the CDC on their recommendations for staying safe during this time.
-Urge employees to stay home if they feel unwell, tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
-Require employees to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before, during, and after preparing food and after touching garbage.
-Develop a schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, bathrooms, cash registers, tables, countertops, receipt trays, and condiment holders.
-Encourage the use of cloth face coverings among all staff, as feasible. This is most essential when staying at least 6 feet apart is difficult.
-Make sure there are enough supplies to support healthy hygiene, such as soap, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and no-touch trash cans in key areas of the restaurant including near the cash registers and in the restrooms.
-Prioritize outdoor seating and open windows and doors to increase circulation of outdoor air if possible.
-Change layouts, such as spacing out tables and chairs, to make sure customer parties remain at least 6 feet apart.
Along with the CDC’s guidelines here are a couple more tips that may come in handy while Bars, restaurants and clubs are at full capacity.
-There should still be free testing sites set up locally. Find one in you area and ask your employees if they mind being tested regularly. We know this is annoying and asking a lot of your employees but, it can be a huge determination it making sure there isn’t an outbreak in your business.
-Custom hand sanitizer! We haven seen a lot of establishments do this. It is not only sanitary but a great promotion. It is also very cost effective. You can but mini hand sanitizer in bulk and print your label for customers.
-Have customers wait outside to be seated. This one is pretty self explanatory. It can also make your business look cool.
-Make if fun! We know this isn’t fun, trust us. We have seen some places use this to their advantage. Make drink specials. Fun names revolving around this past year. Anything to make it relevant and stand out! Our favorite drink currently? The Tiger King at one of our local favorites. It is essentially a frozen mixture of orange juice and whiskey but it feels cooler with the name.