The hospitality industry has been hit especially hard this pandemic. The biggest reason for this is the fear of safety from consumers. Now that things are finally getting back to normal, the hospitality industry must ensure that all government safety precautions are respected fully. So the question is, do the staff in the back have to wear masks as well? Yes and no. While Covid 19 is not likely to be transferrable by food, the back end staff will still be working amongst each other in close quarters. For the safety of their coworkers, their friends, and their families, each staff member should be required to wear a mask. Technically though, your state might not require you to enforce masks on your staff. In states such as North Carolina, the governor has strongly encouraged the use of masks, but it is not required. However, with a new wave of covid cases on the rise during Fall 2020 and the United States accounting for approximately 21% of the cases in the world, it really might just be a good idea to require your staff to wear a mask. O’Bricks, a restaurant in downtown Bradenton, Florida, has a strict mask on policy for staff members. “If wearing a mask protects our staff, their families, and our customers, it is not an option to not wear one,” states O’Bricks, director of operations Bethany Carter.
Understandably, wearing masks all day long isn’t the most pleasant experience. Kitchens tend to be hot, bustling places, and wearing a mask on top of that can seem suffocating. Another problem that might arise is the constant ability to taste the food that chefs need to do. Luckily, face shields are another alternative to the face mask covering. They provide just about the same protection as face masks while allowing for some breathing room and the ability to taste the food. Regardless of choice, the adjustment period of wearing a mask in the kitchen is a bit of a nuisance. Having small breaks when possible and going outside will help keep body temperatures down and allow the staff to grab a bit of fresh air. To be even safer, it might even be a good idea to have one-directional walkways as you see in grocery stores, install barriers in-between stations, group together workers in teams or cohorts, and be restrictive of delivery worker access. All of these initiatives and the wearing of masks should lead to a far safer environment for everyone.
These are unprecedented times, and the fewer risks employers take, the better it is not just for the good of their restaurant but also for the community. We at The On Demand Company strive to provide the best information for restaurant owners in order for them to make informed decisions. We are leaders in the Virtual Restaurant industry, with over 500 restaurant brands created. Increasing food sales for our partners is something we are very passionate about. If you would like to book a free consultation call or learn more, please visit us at: www.theondemandcompany.com