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Wondering about reopening? These are the guides used by top chefs.

Read time: 3 Min
13th May 2020

How can chefs prepare to reopen restaurants post-coronavirus? We’ve rounded up a few key resources to help you prepare to open your doors again.

A major Hong Kong hospitality group has released a “Covid-19 Playbook” to help other restaurateurs get back to business safely. A resource for chefs like Momofuku’s Dave Chang, the document details how Black Sheep Restaurants, with 26 locations and 1,000 employees, is operating in this new landscape. With 17 pages of detailed advice and strategies, it’s described as a “manual on how we are attempting to get on top of the situation, stay ahead of the curve, and come out the other end of it as a team with our values intact.”

The playbook includes best practices like handwashing and sanitation of all surfaces every 30 minutes as well as deep cleaning every ten days; how to help staff who may not be able to communicate in the local language; eliminating or limiting travel by team members between restaurants; and other advice. Among other things, Black Sheep says that owners should make all guests sign a health-declaration form, with contact details, and turn away those who decline to do so. Their restaurants are currently only seating every other table, but they say they also recognize that “physical distancing is going to be part of the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future.”

You can find Black Sheep Restaurant’s SOP and guide to reopening via this link.

The National Restaurant Association has also created a guide in collaboration with representatives of the FDA, academia, the Conference for Food Protection, Ecolab, public health officials and industry representatives. They’ve developed a set of opening and operating guidelines to help restaurants return to full operation safely when the time comes. Their COVID-19 Reopening Guidance offers direction and provides a framework for best practices as restaurant operators reopen.

The guidelines also encourage anyone in charge to have an up-to date ServSafe Food Manager certification and to offer food handler training for employees. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is offering this for free at

Meanwhile in the Golden State, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced California’s guidelines for reopening of restaurant dining rooms. The broad PDF outlining industrywide guidance lays out “guidance for dine-in restaurants, brewpubs, craft distilleries, breweries, bars, pubs, and wineries to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.” A more specific checklist of necessary duties and tasks for restaurants was also released, and can be found here.

In the US alone, the National Restaurant Association estimates the restaurant industry lost $80 billion through April, and could lose $240 billion by the end of the year.

For inspiring words during these unprecedented times and for more insight on the future of the restaurant industry post-COVID, check out World on a Plate Episode 2: For the Future of Restaurants, Tomorrow Begins Today with Chef Paul Sorgule. Chef Paul provides guidance on what to expect, potential solutions, and more.

We want to hear your story. To share how COVID-19 has impacted you, get in touch via this link.

For more updates and resources from around the globe, visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub.


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