Restaurant Resiliency During the COVID-19 Crisis

5 Things Every Restaurant Should be Doing Right Now

Customer and employee safety is paramount during these uncertain times and unfortunately for many in the service industry, this means reducing hours or even closing locations altogether. While we all navigate what impact COVID-19 will have on the economy, here are a few measures restaurants should be taking now to strengthen resiliency:

1. Immediately cut costs through energy reduction

Occupancy restrictions in place across the country are resulting in restaurants having to modify schedules or transition to take-out only.  Your energy strategy should reflect these changes so sites are not wasting energy (and dollars!). Respond quickly by following this checklist:

✓ Optimize set-points and fan settings based on these recommendations for your business situation:

✓ Update HVAC, interior and exterior lighting schedules to reflect updated business hours

✓ If your sites’ dehumidification units are not GridPoint controlled, we suggest increasing the humidity set point to 60%

 

2. Proactively disinfect and tighten food safety requirements

First, ensure your cleaning solution is EPA approved for use against the COVID-19 strain. The EPA has a comprehensive list here for reference. Next develop, communicate, and enforce new disinfecting procedures. Many restaurants have started requiring employees to switch gloves or wash hands after every transaction. What happens if someone in your location was diagnosed with COVID-19? Check out the CDC’s guidelines here.

While there is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 by food, increased food safety measures should still be prioritized.   Enforce a 6 ft distance between kitchen employees, regularly disinfect surfaces, and continue to monitor refrigeration temperatures manually or in the GridPoint Energy Manager app.

 

3. Reduce equipment usage and unnecessary operational costs

Many restaurants have implemented modified menus.  Taking this action can help simplify your inventory and reduce the time equipment is being used to prepare food.  Keep unnecessary equipment off, remind employees to turn off equipment when not in use during the day, only run dishwashers when full, and limit truck rolls to emergency needs only. If you have an EMS system like GridPoint’s you may be able to remotely triage issues before calling for a technician. Talk to your partner about your options, they are here to help.

 

4. Reduce customer interaction

Person to person transmission is the most common way COVID-19 is spread. While enforcing a 6ft barrier between occupants is necessary, go a step further and eliminating unnecessary high-touch areas. Opt for cashless or touchless payment transactions, eliminate utensil or napkin bins, and promote curbside pickup to minimize customer-employee interactions.

 

5. Partner for delivery service

Partnering with delivery services can increase sales and reduce risk during these unprecedented times.  DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub are all popular options that have set up emergency programs to help struggling restaurants during the COVID19-crisis. Local delivery services may also be available.

 

Open communication with customers, employees, and partners is key to navigating this pandemic. Many partners, like GridPoint, are here around the clock to help restaurants through these difficult times. We’re all in this together. #restaurantrecovery