The ways we live, work and play have all changed. Offices, schools, restaurants, malls and event venues are all having to adjust the way they operate in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an office space, new processes and procedures are in place to protect the employees that occupy these spaces. The way employee dining spaces are operated and managed will have to undergo a variety of changes.
Employee cafés experience a high volume of traffic – people picking up lunch, colleagues taking a coffee break or those who enjoy socializing in the café. In typically crowded spaces such as corporate dining areas, food service providers and their clients are taking a closer look at updating cleaning and hygiene practices to provide employees and food service teams a safe place to interact.
Before re-opening a café or dining space, it is important to evaluate procedures related to the way kitchens are cleaned and disinfected and hygiene techniques required of all occupants. Attention to detail is the name of the game. Read on to learn more about cleaning and hygiene updates that should be made to an employee café before re-opening.
Routine disinfecting should take place during off-hours when visitors and food service employees are not occupying the space. During this time, the disinfection distributor should focus on hard surfaces and high-touch areas. In the kitchen, ovens, preparation stations, light switches, sinks, faucets, doorknobs and drawer handles should be thoroughly disinfected.
In the storefront of the café, which is occupied by both the food service team and visitors, the disinfecting team should focus on high-touch objects in the dining space. These touchpoints include doorknobs, door handles, tables, chairs, point of sale spaces, touch screens and service stations.
Daily cleaning activities
Even though a café space may be disinfected frequently during off-hours. Daily cleaning and sanitizing should be ongoing as guests visit the café. Here are key cleaning and sanitizing updates that need to take place both in the kitchen area and the storefront of the café.
Back of house
The back of house in a café includes the food service team kitchen and prep areas. Here are a few cleaning suggestions for the kitchen area of corporate dining spaces.
- Thoroughly clean and rinse food preparation areas between preps
- Ensure all sinks designated for hand-washing are properly accessible and stocked with warm water, soap and paper towels
- Downtime offers food service employees prime opportunities to implement best practices, such as cleaning the sanitizing high-touch surfaces
Front of house
The front of house is the café space that visitors come into contact with. These areas include service stations, coffee bar, point of sale stations, tables and chairs. All areas that food service employees and visitors come in contact with several times a day need to be frequently cleaned for the safety of everyone in the building.
Employee hygiene practices
So far, we have talked about the café itself and how to properly create a safe environment for the people working in and visiting the space. Certain hygiene actions should be required of employees working in the dining area.
Personal protective equipment
Employees behind counters and in kitchens preparing food should wear face masks while working and use disposable gloves when preparing and handling food.
Cashiers should wear masks or sneeze guards should be installed at point of sale areas.
Café employees should frequently wash and sanitize their hands when possible. This includes before they put gloves on to help prepare a meal and after they remove gloves, in addition to any time they arrive at or leave their work station.
Companies everywhere share the same priorities – the health and safety of their employees and guests. Because guidance from local health departments and state and local governments is changing on a regular basis, food service providers should prepare for when the time comes to re-open their cafés and welcome employees and visitors back in a safe and healthy manner. This includes re-evaluating the cleaning and hygiene procedures throughout employee cafés. By updating these procedures, you are doing your part to help keep people safe while offering those who visit your café reassurance that their health and safety are at the forefront of your approach to the employee dining area.
Read what our partners at ISS have to say about what a disinfected workplace will look like in the age of COVID-19.