Business Preparedness Plan
On June 1, 2020, Minneapolis bars and restaurants will be allowed to open outdoor dining service with restrictions. Before opening, businesses are required to have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place. Your plan needs to incorporate feedback from staff. Staff needs to be properly trained on the plan.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has developed a template with instructions and guidance. This guidance highlights topics which must be in your preparedness plan. Topics include: Health screening; Masks; Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting; Spacing and capacity; and Physical facilities.
Screen employees when they arrive or capture the self-reporting of your employee's health. You may want to consider screening guests as well.
- Review the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) interim guidance on employee health screening for COVID-19.
- Use a helpful checklist from the Minnesota Department of Health.
- Create a log to track the required information. Here is an employee health screening log example.
- Ask guests health screening questions when they arrive, digitally in a text, or by email the day of their reservation.
- Post City of Minneapolis signs of health reminders to set guest expectations and remind them they are a partner in safe dining. (See Sign section below).
What is required?
Visit the City's information about masks to learn:
- Minneapolis requirements on wearing mask in public
- Who is exempt from wearing a mask in public
Suggestions on how to make this work
- Offer masks for sale to guests.
- Post signs with city mask requirement language and city logo to reinforce the Mayor’s proclamation and help address guest complaints.
- Increase frequency of breaks for employees, especially those working in hot environments.
Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting
Your COVID-19 preparedness plan needs to address sanitation and disinfection procedures. Make sure your employees are trained on your updated procedures and on the use of personal protection equipment (PPE).
Suggestions on creating your procedures
- Evaluate the CDC decision guide for a quick guide on how to clean different surface types.
- Review the CDC detailed instructions on what and how to properly clean, sanitize and disinfect your facility. Use the EPA approved list of disinfectants to ensure you have the right chemical.
- Identify high touch surfaces that need frequent disinfection. Some of the surfaces are: guest facing door handles, equipment door handles, phones, pens, check presenters, POS systems, trays, beverage stations, shared multi-use utensils and equipment, bathroom surfaces, etc.
Ways to minimize touching surfaces
- Provide single use condiment packets or portioned amounts in ramekins. If you use multi-use condiments, disinfected the containers between each use.
- Do not preset tables. Deliver utensils, napkins, menus, condiments and other items to guests.
- Use single use menus, menu boards or online menus instead of reusable menus. If you use reusable menus, make sure they are disinfected between each use.
- Use gloves when handling takeout containers, utensils and dishes.
- Have guests package their own leftovers. If an employee packages leftover, make sure they follow proper hand hygiene and glove use procedures.
- Provide hand sanitizers in high traffic areas such as near the host stand, lobby and bathroom.
- Install hands free door opener in the bathroom or provide a trash can near the bathroom door to encourage the use of paper towels to open the door.
Spacing and Capacity
What is required?
- Outdoor seating is allowed if tables are at least 6 feet apart and there are not more than 50 guests.
- Party size is limited to four people or six people if they are a single-family household.
- Reservations are required.
Suggestions on how to make this work
- Cross train employees on different tasks.
- Dedicate specific staff for cleaning and busing tables.
- Arrange labor tasks to decrease interactions between staff members and guest sections.
- Stagger shift start times.
- Identify tasks that can be done when the business is closed or at off-peak hours.
- Provide a physical barrier, such as plexiglass, at checkout registers.
- Identify ways to prevent employees from congregating. For example, communicate pre-shift information by text or email.
Ideas to do more business with fewer tables
- Encourage desserts to-go
- Have guests pre-order meals, or offer prix fixe menus, especially for items with longer cook times.
- Limit menu options.
- Offer pre-pay or contactless payment options. Explore technology options for ordering and paying in advance.
- Consider table time limits or the use of an hourglass.
Suggestions on how to make sure your facility is ready to open
Plumbing and HVAC
- Run both hot and cold water for 5 minutes at each faucet to flush out water that may be contaminated with harmful bacteria and contaminants.
- Make sure the plumbing system is in good repair.
- Check that all utilities are working correctly.
- Make sure all sanitizer dispensing units and dish machines are properly working.
- Evaluate the HVAC guidance on restarting and operating your ventilation system from the State of Minnesota.
- Ensure food hasn’t been contaminated by pests.
- Look for evidence of pests and manage accordingly.
Discard out of date food
- Look for signs of mold and other signs of spoilage.
- Examine frozen food for signs of thawing.
Signs and materials
- Sign - Choose contactless delivery sign
- Sign - Do your part - customers are partners
- Table tent - Table closed
- COVID-19 Employee health screening form
- COVID-19 HVAC guidance
- Find resources for small businesses on the City's coronavirus Business FAQ page
- Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) – Planning for Reopening Food Service Establishments as COVID-19 Impacts Best Practices and Protocols
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - FDA Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CDC – Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19
- FDA dine-in food service reopening checklist
- FDA dine-in food service reopening infographic
If you have questions about reopening your dine-in food service, contact Minneapolis 311. Call 612-673-3000 or email [email protected]. Ask for an Environmental Health supervisor.
Last updated Jul 7, 2020