How can restaurants practice social distancing and stay open?

As people were instructed to stay home as much as possible and refrain from gathering in groups in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants and bars were one of the first places to take a hit in terms of their business. Restaurants that were once packed are now empty—but they may still be open and offering food. If you own a restaurant, how can you adhere to social distancing practices, and stay open? There are a few solutions: 

Communicate to Customers With SignsCurbside Pickup Notice Sign

If you’re still open, the first thing to do is make sure customers are aware of this. Put a big sign up in your window that lets everyone know you’re open and what your hours are. Or, set up an a-frame sign on the sidewalk for people to easily see as they pass by. Although you might not be able to have as many people in your store, you can still have a few, and it’s important to communicate that it’s possible for customers to come in.

Offer Takeout or Curbside Pickup

One of the most popular solutions for many restaurants is to start offering their food to go, even if this type of service wasn’t available before. For some places, being able to do takeout, delivery, or curbside pickup is the only way they’re able to continue providing food. If your restaurant offers this, invest in a banner that you can put up on the side of your building that says “Open for Curbside Pickup” with your phone number or website. That way, people passing by know you’re still open and it’s easy for them to get in contact. 

Implement Social Distancing Inside Your Store

Whether you have customers come inside to place orders to go or have a waiting area for them, restaurants commonly push all their tables to one side so people can’t sit down and offer just a few chairs, spaced six feet apart, for people to sit in while they wait. If people do tend to create a line as they order or wait, you can place floor tape or social distancing strips to remind them to keep their distance from each other. Luckily, many restaurants can stay open as they adhere to local regulations and are able to maintain their business.


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