How Table Service Restaurants Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

PAR’s launch of Brink POS v 5.0c is the first update since COVID-19 restrictions began several months ago. Together with REVOLUTION, PAR is also launching a new promotion to coincide with these updates to help table service operators adapt to a changing industry.

This limited time offer to waive subscription fees is available for table service restaurants whose legacy technology failed to help them reach off-premise guests. You can read our press release here and fill out this form to get started.

As more states lift coronavirus restrictions, restaurants will also need to consider changing their usual protocols in response to new regulations. Before reopening dine-in service, follow these guidelines to ensure your staff is ready:

Risk Assessment Tools

Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, co-authored this operational toolkit for helping businesses reopen. Here is a summary:

Risk Assessment Calculator

Click the link above to download an Excel spreadsheet that considers different risk factors for reopening. This will help you complete the different risk assessments contained in the instruction manual. All you have to do is double click each category within the spreadsheet and enter a yes or no response to get a risk rating of low, moderate or high for your restaurant.

Instruction Manual and Business Risk Worksheet

Complete these documents together, as they contain a 4 stage process for calculating the risk of spreading COVID-19 through normal business operations:

  • Stage 1 – calculate your risk score by answering the questions in the Risk Assessment Calculator based on your business operations before COVID-19.
  • Stage 2 – fill out the same spreadsheet for the time period after your restaurant began implementing ways to reduce COVID-19 exposure and transmission. Use the decision tree in the corresponding section of the Business Risk Worksheet to find your modification score.
  • Stage 3 – use the previous two answers to find your overall score based on the decision tree in the corresponding section of the Business Risk Worksheet.
  • Stage 4 – refer to the Business Risk Worksheet for a checklist of mitigation measures.

Contact Tracing

According to the CDC, contact tracing is a disease control measure in which people with a suspected infection isolate from others and report every instance of interaction with the outside to health officials called contact tracers. These officials then notify individuals who interacted with the potentially infected person and encourage them to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

At the start of the coronavirus epidemic, there were only 2,200 contact tracers in the United States. Although this number grew to 30,000 by the beginning of May, one health official estimates we will need 100,000 to slow the spread of COVID-19 once all states reopen. An Axios survey recently asked U.S. adults if they would participate in a contact tracing program on their phones, and the results were mixed. 68% of respondents said they would not use a program created by the federal government. If major tech companies or internet providers created the program, the percentage of disapproval drops to 66% and 63%, respectively. On the flip side, 51% of Americans said they would be at least somewhat likely to use a program created by the CDC or public health officials.

Regardless of the popularity of contact tracing, you should get permission to collect information from anyone who enters your restaurant and have them fill out a simple sheet with their name and number so that you can contact them in the event of COVID-19 exposure. You can take measures into your own hands even further by assessing your restaurant’s risk to spreading COVID-19 every week that you are open to be able to adapt to changing circumstances.

To learn more about reaching customers outside of the walls of your restaurant, don’t forget to fill out this form to go digital