RTS Partner Len Ghilani recently wrote Covid-19 safety protocols for a client who owns a five-unit, Phoenix-based chain. Len, an operations specialist, also trained managers and team members on these protocols in anticipation of the restaurants’ re-opening on May 11. When, in fact, they did so, Len was in trenches taking notes. He shares them with us below:
- Guest can, basically, act like nothing is wrong or ever was! They’re very trusting and are NOT wearing masks.
- Staff is very cooperative and very compliant with all safety measures and PPE. Note: If you have a rigorous training program, the staff will cooperate.
- While all guests have no problem adhering to the distancing controls we provide, if the measures weren’t in place, most guests wouldn’t care. During high traffic dinner periods, it’s like herding kindergartners on a field trip if we don’t stand at the ready to control the distance markers are used. Once the distancing process starts, it’s easily maintained.
- Table turns are most definitely longer than normal
- Guests are happy to be out and don’t want to leave! Alcohol sales are higher.
- The operation can no longer “power-seat” during a large table turn; i.e., if six tables leave and turn, you can’t just call the next six parties . Only one party is permitted in the lobby at a time, so each party has to be called and seated separately. This extends table seat times
- The scary part to keep in mind at all times: The new “normal” is becoming so comfortable that it’s too easy to forget there’s still a pandemic.
- Management and leadership can never let up their guard!