Sanitation and Operational Adaptation

Download our Restaurant Restart: Sanitation Checklist

The successful reopening of dining rooms and bars as shelter-in-place regulations begin to ease will depend on the appropriate balance of adhering to currently mandated regulations and public sentiment requiring adjustments to your physical spaces and operational shifts.


For comprehensive resources surrounding Covid-19 in Washington State visit

For Washington State’s Safe Start plans, schedule, and guidance for reopening visit


[source: Datassentials corona virus research into the restaurant industry]

Consumer Sentiment:

  • May 1st is too soon for the easing of quarantine
    • Much too soon: 44%
    • Slightly too soon: 28%
  • Concern around the spread of Covid-19 remains high at 70%
  • They’ll be approaching dining in with caution
  • Distrust in other people in a public space is low at 78%
  • Restaurants are more trustworthy than people
  • Attention to sanitation and social distancing measures are expected and alleviates skepticism
  • Dining in restaurants are among the highest missed activities, especially with Boomers and Gen Z


This worksheet (Restaurant Restart: Sanitation Checklist) is organized in categories to provided checklists and space for notes to help you prepare. The list is compiled following best practices, stated consumer sentiment, and innovations gathered from multiple sources world-wide.

Circumstances and scenarios will vary following unique aspects of your operations; choose from, or add to, the following consideration points to help develop a comprehensive plan that will resonate within your culture, staff, brand, so that it will inspire confidence and trust with those you serve.

Once your plan is established it should be carried out in three key areas:

Implementation: Obtaining, placement, and/or construction of associated resources. Your Harbor Foodservice Territory Sales Consultants is ready to provide you with resource information and product availability to suit your plan.

Training & Enforcement: Inform staff of new systems and procedures, retrain to include how these will incorporate into job roles, and give examples of how to communicate these with your guests (waitlists via text, restroom sanitation, service station protocols, etc.)

Communication: Signages, website & social media messages, talking points, social distancing guidance for seating and lines, and the specific protocols employed for takeout & delivery.