With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, fast-food and casual dining restaurants are taking extra precautions to keep employees and customers safe.
Starbucks baristas must wash their hands every 30 minutes. McDonald’s employees are doing more cleaning of their tabletops, door handles and self-order kiosks and Dunkin and Starbucks are doing away with reusable mugs.
Restaurants are preparing for the worst.
Katherine Jaspon, Dunkin’ CFO, said they are putting money in for support, ensuring that restaurants will stay clean and safe.
CapitalSpring is a restaurant investment firm with nearly 4,000 locations around the nation, including both Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Some of the directives the firm sent out include placing kitchen timers in restaurants so that when the timer goes off, the employees do certain tasks such as cleaning soda stations or cash registers.
Video surveillance and tracking sheets are being used to ensure these rules are being followed.
CapitalSpring’s Managing Director Jim Balis said the firm is asking its employees to notify managers if an employee or customer is exhibiting signs of the virus.
With labor costs affecting profit margins, restaurants are adding additional staff or extending the number of hours staff work to ensure the extra cleaning is done. Starbucks is adding in more hours to its labor to handle the extra cleaning. The company is sanitizing parts of the store every eight minutes.
Consumers are not the only ones seeking out hand sanitizers; restaurants are also doing the same. McDonald’s advises its restaurants to offer hand sanitizer to its employees and customers. Dunkin’ said the chain has more than enough sanitizer but is working with partners like Proctor & Gamble to get more.
Should a wide-scale outbreak do occur, CapitalSpring said it will shut down restaurant dining rooms and use the drive-thru and delivery options only.
CapitalSpring head Erik Herrmann said the drive-thru will be the choke point for food safety and reducing the virus’ spread.
The firm’s restaurants are also using tamper-proof packaging for its orders. The measure was already being implemented before the COVID-19 outbreak to keep delivery drivers from eating customers’ food but is even more important thanks to the use of third-party delivery drivers.
Consumers can order for food delivery thanks to third-party providers such as Grubhub and DoorDash to avoid coming into contact with others (employees and other customers).