Things to Consider Before Reopening Responsibly

Many business owners have mixed feelings about the reopening of restaurants in states beginning in May. Arkansas will soon allow restaurants to resume limited dine-in service. It’s a highly sensitive topic, especially for restauranteurs in Georgia. Indeed, the entire nation will be observing these reopenings, especially as other states’ shelter-at-home orders also expire. Many businesses will soon regain the choice to open their doors to the public again, and many are wondering how to reopen responsibly.

Additionally, Arkansas and Georgia have issued the new regulations for dine-in operations, and a quick overview of the protocols reveals measures to create distance and eliminate touchpoints between customers and staff.

Guidelines from Arkansas’ and Georgia’s official checklists:

  • Posting signs at entrances stating no admittance for anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or a fever over 100.4
  • Allowing only ten patrons per 500 square feet in dining rooms, waiting areas, and bar spaces
  • Limiting parties to six people per table
  • Not allowing congregation in waiting areas
  • Encouraging reservation-only
  • Prioritizing takeout and delivery over dine-in service
  • Encouraging disposable or digital menus
  • Using contactless pay options

Read Georgia’s full executive order entitled “Providing Guidance for Reviving a Healthy Georgia in Response to COVID-19“.

Read Arkansas’ directive entitled “Directive on Resuming Restaurant Dine-in Operations“.

Things to Consider before Reopening


If other states follow these guidelines, only ten patrons per 500 square feet of space will be allowed. This applies to all spaces: dining rooms, waiting areas, and bar spaces. Depending on the size of your restaurant the number of patrons that will max out capacity may not be in balance with the numbers needed to reopen profitably.

Eliminating Touchpoints

Menus are out. Can your business afford to implement digital menus or afford the printing costs of disposable menus? Creatively converting your existing LED displays into digital menu boards can be a lower-cost, multifunction alternative to consider.

Contactless Cash & Payments

Are your staff handling cash by hand? Contactless cash and payment options are encouraged as another way to eliminate touchpoints between patrons and staff.

Managing Reservations

Do you have a way to manage reservations? Many restaurants will need to implement reservations to handle and distance those eager-to-return customers within limited seating.

Encouraging Takeout & Curbside

Are you promoting takeout options? Takeout and curbside may need priority over dine-in services to prevent the accidental gathering of too many patrons in a space. Delivery can take up to 40% of the check, but with inhouse online order POS integrations, businesses now have more control over the profit.

The Next Phase

The decision to reopen doors to the public — or to keep them closed for now — is a difficult one. The needs of every business vary, but there is a tech-paved midway that benefits all businesses. Open doesn’t have to rely solely on filled seats. With the right capabilities, open has options. Don’t choose, find a way in between.

Staley Technologies can help your operations maintain space and eliminate touchpoints or streamline online operations into a virtual business. Reopen responsibly.

Let us help you navigate the new normal.



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