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Best Practices for a Clean and Sanitary Work Environment for Caterers

As we get closer to reopening and returning to ‘business as usual,’ things will look different as we adapt to the health and safety needs of our team and our clients. In the catering industry, this is something we’ve always been mindful of in the way of food safety; however, we must now introduce additional parameters to be extra careful to prevent viral transmission.

Your team will be returning to work after two or more months being away, so it’s crucial that there are procedures in place to help them transition back into the office in a safe and smooth fashion. Here are a few ways to ensure that your work environment is sanitary and ready for employees to return.

Develop internal procedures

Every business is different, so we need to find the areas that must be adjusted within our businesses to ensure our team’s safety. “Your employees and clients must feel that they are protected and safe,” asserts Meryl Snow of Feastivities Events. “Having guidelines for new policies and procedures is paramount — they must be prominently shown at your shop and sent to clients.” These guidelines could include wearing masks, installing structures to divide workspaces, or creating a sanitation schedule for cleaning.

Temperature checks

A low-grade fever may be the first sign of an illness, even before any other symptoms show up. Taking employees’ temperatures is not fool-proof, but it is an effective first step for safety. Employees should have their temperatures checked prior to returning to the kitchen and, perhaps more importantly, before working at any event onsite.

Staggered schedules

We should all continue adhering to social distance guidelines, which may require a bit of creativity when it comes to staffing your office. Consider staggering schedules so the office is only partially staffed each day; this will allow people to transition back to work while maintaining proper parameters for health and safety.

Spread the word

The pandemic has caused most people to err on the side of caution, so they need to be certain that they will not be exposed to the virus. Although you may have all the sanitation guidelines in place, you need to make sure people are aware. “Do your deep cleaning, use technology (UV, etc.), but also be sure that your staff, your customers and their guests see visible actions during the events,” says Alan Berg of Wedding Business Solutions, LLC. “They’ll care more about what they see than what you say.” A routine wipe-down, sealed food packages, and detailed signage are all effective ways to visually communicate your safety parameters.

Employees are your most valuable resources, so their safety and wellbeing should always be the top priority in a business. These are some excellent strategies to ensure cleanliness and sanitation, but you should also be prepared to address your team’s mental health and morale surrounding the fear left behind by the virus. Communicate health and safety policies clearly and always stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines from organizations like the CDC, NIH, and WHO.

 

Clint Elkins is the V.P. of Sales for SB Value, a Group Purchasing Organization that helps culinary professionals save an average of 16% on every food order. Membership is 100% free. No hidden fees. No extra work. Just extra profits. See how much you can save on your next food order when you become an SB Value member. Request a quote today.

 

2 Replies to “Best Practices for a Clean and Sanitary Work Environment for Caterers”

  1. Are buffet meals allowed for weddings

    1. mm Anna Silveira says:

      Hi Cathy, Buffets are still taking place but modified. In our Explore webinar series, leaders discussed staffing at buffet tables with several safety protocols in place such as face masks, and plexi glass barriers.

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