Bay Area Bars Begin Grand Re-Opening
As California moves into Phase 3 reopening, state officials are permitting counties that meet COVID-19 testing and lower infection rates to reopen bars starting on June 12, just in time for summer. Bars have been closed for 3 months to slow the transmission of the coronavirus. Not all counties will allow reopening yet in order to control for outbreaks. Moreover, counties may impose additional restrictions such as limiting reopenings to only outdoor bars.
State rules for reopening bars will be the similar to those issued for restaurants nearly a month ago. This will include social distancing requirements of six feet between parties and maximum occupancy rules. Just as individual counties have made their own rules for reopening restaurants, the same is likely for bars.
In the central Bay Area, every county except San Francisco and Alameda counties are open for outdoor dining. San Francisco’s outdoor dining begins on June 15 but Alameda county has yet to announce a date. It’s likely that bars will follow restaurant openings in these counties.
What Should Bars & Restaurants Do To Jumpstart Their Reopening?
Of course, the first step is to assure that all state and local government requirements are being met. Additionally, businesses need to put a plan together to communicate with employees, vendors and customers how they must comply to maintain safety and minimize the spread of infection.
Restaurants and bars would do well to examine all key aspects of their business to make sure that they are meeting all compliance requirement. For employees, this may mean updating their employee handbook. For customers, this may mean updating website information, social media, menus and table top signs regarding social distancing requirements. For vendors, this may mean putting procedures in place for cleanliness and sanitization.
Restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues need to carefully consider how to create a sanitary and disease-free environment that is safe for everyone. Once they are ready and they have clearance from their country, then they would do well to promote their business with a strong marketing message that reassures customers that they are taking all necessary safety precautions.
The pandemic requires every business to take all reasonable and necessary precautions. Businesses that plan for the recovery and possible second wave of the coronavirus will fare better than those that don’t. Moreover, taking these precautions will positively affect the bottom line which will then influence the restaurant’s valuation when the owner is ready to sell their business. An ounce of prevention will most certainly be better than a pound of cure.