Proper Restaurant Disinfection – How to Make Guests Feel Safe

Three weeks ago, NYC restaurants were finally given the green light to welcome guests back with indoor dining, albeit limited to 25% capacity along with a slew of other safety requirements.

But do customers feel safe enough to sit inside?

So far, the answer seems to be a hopeful maybe. Despite a shaky surge in COVID-19 cases over the past 2 weeks, diners have gradually started to return to newly reopened dining rooms.

According to a survey by Rewards Network, 24% of consumers said they feel very comfortable dining indoors at a restaurant that takes the proper safety precautions, compared to 19% that said they feel very uncomfortable.

For those in the middle who are still on the fence, it’s up to restaurants to go above and beyond with safety precautions to ensure that diners feel comfortable enough to venture inside.

Which dining safety initiatives are most important to consumers?

The Rewards Network survey found that the most important dining safety initiatives for customers, in order, were:

  1. Socially distanced tables – 73%
  2. Frequent sanitizing of all surfaces – 60%
  3. Restaurant staff wearing gloves and face masks – 55%
  4. Outdoor seating availability – 32%
  5. No-touch bathrooms – 13%
  6. Temperature checks at the door – 12%
  7. Hand sanitizer stations throughout the restaurant – 10%
  8. Touchless ordering (digital menus) – 7%
  9. Use of disposable utensils, cups, and condiments – 4%
  10. Other – 1%

This graphic shows two restaurant scenes: the scene on the right needs more care, the scene on the left has been properly disinfected.

How proper disinfection can help your bottom line

Sitting at #2, frequent sanitizing of all surfaces is something that diners care about a lot when deciding whether to not to dine inside.

But whereas socially-distance tables (#1), PPE-wearing staff (#3), and outdoor seating (#4) can be easily seen at a glance, whether or not your restaurant is being properly sanitized is harder for customers to judge.

Including signage at the front of your restaurant and messaging on your website and social media that describes your cleaning and disinfecting practices can make a big difference to diners that are still undecided between dining out or staying home.

And the quality of those practices matters as well.

While wiping down tables restrooms with EPA-registered disinfectants satisfies the basic CDC guidelines, diners are more likely to feel safe entering your restaurant knowing that it has disinfected by trained professionals, compared to regular janitorial cleanings.

Green Orchard Group Restaurant Disinfection Sticker, showing they have been professionally disinfected for covid-19.

A post-disinfection window sticker showing customers that this restaurant has been professionally disinfected.

A safer restaurant environment is a good investment

Although hiring a disinfection company or investing in in-house disinfection equipment and protocols seems like a heavy upfront cost to bear, especially during these challenging times, a safer environment can help boost staff morale, give customers confidence, and help drive more traffic to your restaurant this fall and winter.

Unlike regular cleaning, thorough disinfection requires training and certifications. Professional disinfection companies like Green Orchard Group employ trained specialists to identify high-risk areas and use advanced disinfecting methods such as electrostatic fogging and air exchanging in accordance with the product labels and specifications.

In addition, working with professionals doesn’t need to be cost-prohibitive. Green Orchard Group currently offers special discounted disinfection rates to help NYC restaurants reopen for indoor dining safely this fall.

After disinfection is complete, we provide you with an official certificate and window decal to show that your restaurant has been professionally disinfected and is safe for entry.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.