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Drive-thrus and QSRs
The global Covid–19 pandemic has brought about many changes in how the food industry functions. Given how Covid-19 has impacted the world, QSRs need to follow safety protocols to protect their employees and customers strictly. Among the strategies that the QSRs can adopt are regular hand washing, sanitization, social distancing, controlling the crowd, donning the face mask, and checking temperatures.
Masks help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others hence restricting the spread of viruses from one person to another. When donning the face mask, always ensure that it covers both the mouth and the nose. In addition, the mask fitting should neither be too loose nor too tight and should be adequately secured around the face.
A vaccine for Covid-19 has now come into effect, but the protocols and the compliances are here to stay, and one of the most common and the first ones to get into effect post-pandemic is mask compliance.
Sanitize your hands thoroughly before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off and after you touch it at any time. Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth, and chin. If you remove your mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and make sure that you wash it properly with mild soap if it is a fabric mask or else, you immediately dispose of the medical mask in a garbage bin.
- a. Always wear a mask while talking to the server.
- b. Carry a paper bag, if possible, to the QSR, where you can keep your mask while eating.
- c. Make sure to wear your mask back as soon as you finish eating.
- d. Enter and leave the premises wearing a mask.
- a. Do not dangle your mask ends from one ear to the other.
- b. Do not leave your mask anywhere.
- c. Do not dispose of your mask publicly.
- d. Do not keep the mask on the table after removing it, as that is the exposed area.
The primary mode of virus transmission is through person-to-person contact by which airborne droplets caused by sneezing and coughing could transmit. Therefore, always ensure that the employees and customers maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing in your QSR.
The lockdown brought about many changes in how we lead our social lives, and among those changes was going out to dine at restaurants. The pandemic has made QSR and drive-thrus more popular among consumers. Now, there are some norms that we need to abide by, which will be applicable for both the owners and customers alike. Those norms include the act of social distancing.
Maintaining physical distancing will help in alleviating the spread of COVID-19. Hence, this will entail keeping a distance of at least 1m from each other and avoid spending time in crowded places or large groups of people. Substantial evidence has demonstrated that people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away under certain conditions.
- a. Whether dining takes place outside or indoors, the CDC notes that keeping diners spaced at least six feet apart (socially distanced) is crucial to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infections. This is because COVID-19 primarily spreads among people in close contact (within about six feet) for a prolonged period.
- b. For QSRs, the most obvious tactic is to promote social distancing, which means keeping both patrons and employees safe.
- a. Place social distancing signs at all points in your QSR, drive-thru, and in any place where customers may gather (like outside your front entrance) to reinforce the message.
- b. If you have room in your QSR, then place tables six feet apart to help diners maintain adequate distance while seated.
- c. Try to work with QR code menus instead of physical menus that move back and forth from one customer to the next.
- d. Maintain reservation-based services and encourage your customers to follow the same.
- a. Avoid being in very close proximity with other diners. While it may seem like a waste of space and tables, it is better to function this way until the QSRs open at total capacity.
- b. Do not let the customers linger at their tables. It is essential not to be rude to them, but it is equally important (if not more) to minimize the risk rate.
- c. Do not encourage parties or large gatherings, at least till the situations go back to normal.
Unsanitized hands are one of the main ways germs travel from one person or place to another. Therefore, any surface or object that people can touch becomes vulnerable to contamination. Hence, using a waterless and alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% of alcohol levels is advisable.
Unsanitized hands become a prominent place for germs to travel, and any item or surface that your employees touch can become susceptible to contamination. Because pathogens are the primary cause of foodborne diseases, hand sanitization becomes the safest method to prevent the spread of microorganisms.
Before you begin hand sanitizing, remove all the organic matter from your hands. All the visible organic matter, such as dirt or dust, should be removed from your hands before you begin applying the waterless hand sanitizer. It is advisable to use a good quality alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. During application, use just a coin-sized amount to the palm of one hand and then rub your hands together, making sure that you cover all surfaces of your fingers and hands. Rub your hands together for 20 seconds to absorb all liquid onto your skin.
- a. Ensure that you rub the hand sanitizer on your hands for at least 20 seconds as recommended by experts.
- b. Ensure that the hand sanitizer contains at least 60 % of alcohol.
- c. Remove all organic matter (dirt, dust) from your hands before the sanitizing process.
- a. Do not rinse or wipe off the hand sanitizer before it dries off because this can render the sanitization ineffective in protecting you against germs.
- b. Do not use an expired hand sanitizer.
For the QSR industry, crowd management can be a critical issue to tackle. However, following the covid-19 checklist and ensuring timely detection of overcrowded spaces can enhance customers’ experience.
The global pandemic has changed the various ways in which we dine out and socialize with other people. A lack of social distancing can have deadly consequences not just for ourselves but for those around us. To avoid risking an infection, we should ensure that we do not engage in large gatherings and maintain adequate social distancing of approximately 6 feet apart from one another while also donning a mask or facial covering.
Many industries have put their business operations on hold, but the food industry was among the sectors that didn’t entirely halt their operations as food is considered essential. However, the pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on how we maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Now we cannot even step out of our homes without donning a mask or regularly sanitizing and washing our hands. Not only that but how we mobilize and socialize has encountered significant changes. Even with the vaccinations, it is essential to be mindful about being near large gatherings of people. We should venture into QSRs while following strict safety protocols like social distancing, regular sanitization, and avoiding close contact with other people and objects.
- a. Pay for your orders using cashless options.
- b. Try to look for outdoor seating arrangements with at least 6 feet between different groups.
- c. Greet people with a wave, a nod, or a bow instead of hugging and handshaking.
- a. Avoid busy QSR service times during the day or night.
- b. Avoid proximity with the other employees, such as running or walking very close to them.