1 – Restaurants

Main Menu

Restaurants have a number of industry-specific issues that need to be addressed as businesses reopen and/or return to serving customers on-site. It is important to understand the official government guidelines you will be required to follow and industry best practices for implementing those guidelines.

Reopening Guidelines

FDA – Best Practices for Food & Beverage Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A good, authoritative source on health guidelines for Food & Beverage employers and workers. Additional information can be found on the FDA’s Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 page

OSHA – Takeout and Curbside Pickup Guidance: These are being continuously updated, so this link is to OSHA’s Publications page where the latest document can be found.

CDC – Considerations for Restaurants and Bars: As bars and restaurants phase back into operations, the CDC has issued a series of guidelines and best practices, which they stress “are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which businesses must comply.” The CDC has also issued the following decision tree tool to help restaurants and bars decide when to reopen

Best Practices from Leading Industry Organizations

MyRestaurantHELP.com – Delivery Breakthrough: A guide of best practices for keeping your brand intact and growing guest satisfaction through delivery. The site also has a number of other resources: MyRestaurantHELP.com

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association –  COVID-19 Resource Center: Contains industry and state-specific information, including individual documents form government agencies and trade groups

National Restaurant Association – ServSafe – COVID-19 Precautions Training Videos: FREE English and Spanish training video to train operators and staff to reopen restaurants with new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Upon completion of training, you receive a record of training that can be displayed to communicate to customers the steps you are taking to keep them safe

National Restaurant Association – Reopening Guidance: Guidance for restaurants that complement state government opening plans

Resources from the SBDC

Restaurant Checkup Guide: A checklist to help understand the health of your restaurant.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Food Supply Chain of the Food Services Industry: A review of the current situation and points of consideration when reopening. (Download Slides)

Topic: Restaurants

Summary: Main Issues affecting the Food Service Industry Short-term

Key Learning Objectives and Actionable Insights:

    • Food shortages
    • Suggestions for survival during this time
    • $ Dollar and cents of restaurants $
    • Calculating food costs
    • Tips for turning tables

Refocus and Rebuild: Helping Virginia Businesses Reopen in a COVID-19 World: A Focus On Forward Virginia Phase 1 Regulations, Business Decisions and Operations for the Food Industry


In this video Marc Wilson, retail strategist for the Virginia SBDC, discusses re-opening and operating your business during the COVID pandemic. The session is specifically focused to be helpful to retail, restaurant, and hospitality businesses and will address issues in those industries.
The session/discussion will include information, tips and suggestions in the following areas to assist you in making decisions and taking action:
  • Safety during COVID for employees and customers.
  • Sales tips and techniques.
  • Marketing ideas.
  • Community involvement and connection.
  • Best practices you can use.
  • Everyday operations during this challenging time.
Table of Contents
Virginia SBDC