As the Covid 19 pandemic continues to rage globally, restaurants and food courts find more ways to protect their workers, cashiers, and customers from the infection. Business owners are finding both new and proven ways to protect the health of employees and customers. Frequent disinfection, smart temperature monitoring, contactless payments, protective food shields, and sneeze barriers are becoming the new normal of dining and food service.
The importance of health safety at restaurants during the pandemic
The fact is that close contact exposure is the leading factor in the spread of Covid-19 infection. Restaurants, bars, and food venues are at a higher risk of contributing to the virus’s spread due to large group gatherings at close quarters. The lack of adequate safeguards can expose both employees and customers to higher health risks.
Since the outbreak began, the restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit by quarantine measures. Roughly 8 million people in the industry have lost their jobs. The monetary losses due to the outbreak no rival the worst of a financial crisis. Unfortunately, not all restaurants or bars can adopt a take-away model of operation. Thus, improving health safety procedures and routine cleaning for food venues is paramount.
General safety guidelines for restaurants and bars
Businesses that reopen during the pandemic have to employ improved safety measures in their day-to-day operations. There are extensive rules, requirements, and guidelines established by global and regional healthcare agencies to help restaurants and bars operate in the new environment.
The World Health Organisation and governmental agencies have provided sensible guidelines for food vendors and restaurants to reopen and operate responsively. The general recommendations focus on the following areas:
- Cleaning and Disinfection
- Improved Ventilation
- Better Water Systems Management
- Modified Layouts
- Physical Barriers
Restaurants and bars should maintain strict hygiene and disinfection routines on their premises at all times. Food venues also have to ensure efficient ventilation during working hours to filter out potential viral particles. Water management is essential for restaurants that experienced prolonged shut down. Stale water is a well-known source of various infections and diseases.
Modifying the layouts is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risks of infections spreading. Crowds staggering, floor markings, altered tabled placement, and protective guards have proven useful while affordable means of protection.
Social distancing made easy: protective guards
Restaurants and bars are social venues where people stay in close, if not intimate proximity. The new social distancing rules have struck at the heart of this concept. However, there are simple ways of keeping social distance at restaurants. The use of sneeze guards and protective barriers allows for a high degree of prevention when spreading the viral infection.
Why restaurant sneeze guards are a must?
Coughing and sneezing are our natural ways of getting rid of excessive particles that tend to accumulate in our lungs. According to the American Lung Association, aerosol particles produced during coughing or sneezing can travel up to five meters if not stopped. That is why it is important to have physical barriers that can limit the spread of aerosols produced by sneezing.
Types of Protective Sneeze guards
Protective sneeze guards and food shields vary in design, materials, and methods of use. Restaurants and bars can utilize the following types of protective guards:
- Hanging protective sneeze guards. These protective guards are usually hanging from the ceiling and are made from light-weight plastic.
- Cubicle sneeze guards. Some restaurants install cubicle sneeze guards that accommodate two people while keeping them separate from other customers.
- Freestanding protective guards. This type of sneeze guard is made of a sheet of plastic and a stand placed on virtually any flat surface. Sneeze guard stands are handy while separating cashiers from the guests.
- Portable sneeze guards. As the name implies, these sneeze guards can be folded and relocated at need. Restaurants sometimes use mobile sneeze guards to change their layouts easily.
Custom Sneeze guards for restaurants
Reacting to the demands, various vendors currently offer a range of custom sneeze guards for restaurants and food venues. These food shields or protective guards can be made of plastic or acrylic, and their design can fit any setting. Custom made sneeze guards offer the same protection level while allowing business owners to maintain their venues’ attractiveness.
The Effectiveness of Protective Guards
Recent findings indicate that airborne transmission of Covid-19 is highly plausible. The same research papers also show that using protective sneeze guards when using face masks is not possible dramatically reduces the risks of virus transmission. Considering this, restaurant and bar owners must introduce protective guards at their venues.
Let us all be real – social distancing is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Restaurants, bars, and food vendors will have to adapt to stay afloat. While simple, protective sneeze guards can help restaurants worldwide remain in business and combat the spread of Covid-19.