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COVID-19 | Gastronomy Reopening Checklist

Use the appropriate checklists for reopening your restaurant, café, snack bar, etc. Adapt your previous safety and hygiene concept to the current situation.

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COVID-19: Checklist update for the restaurant reopening

The catering trade has always had to meet high hygiene standards. In the current situation, the requirements for hygiene and occupational health and safety are becoming even more stringent. The economics ministers of the federal states, together with the Federal Ministry of Economics, have decided to allow the gradual restart of the catering industry. In a time window from 9 to 22 May, the hospitality industry throughout Germany should be able to reopen under certain conditions. The specific opening dates and special rules for the catering trade are a matter for the federal states.

It is clear to all that the restart in the catering industry, no return to the business as before the coronavirus will be. Existing hygiene concepts and risk assessments must be adapted to the new situation. Anyone who does not yet have an infection emergency plan is obliged to draw up one.

Hygiene and occupational safety are important components of quality assurance. The various measures should be written in individual documents, such as hand hygiene plan, cleaning and disinfection plan, etc., to have a short and clear presentation. The measures and regulations for the catering trade are to be adapted individually to the conditions in and around the shop and the requirements of the enterprise and the local authorities.

This article deals with the following topics:

1. Which checklists are important for the restart in the gastronomy

2. Adapt risk assessment and hygiene plan to the new situation

3. Advantages of checklists for reopening

4. Digital technology for the restart in gastronomy

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Which checklists are important for the restart in the gastronomy sector?

Not all restaurateurs were completely closed in the shutdown. Many of them continued to offer food via pick-up and delivery service. These restaurateurs have already gained experience in adapting to the previous safety and hygiene concept to the new situation. In general, companies in the food industry are state-mandated to adapt their hygiene and occupational safety concept to new circumstances at any time.

A helpful checklist for reopening can also be used in other areas of the catering industry, such as food storage or supplier audit. Below are all checklists that are important for a restart in the gastronomy sector.


HACCP checklists are used to identify and control biological, chemical and physical hazards associated with the storage, transport, use, preparation and sale of perishable goods. The underlying HACCP concept must also be regularly adapted to the use of foodstuffs in corona times.

2. Risk assessment

The threat assessment helps companies to keep track of hazards, risks and control measures in the workplace and to initiate corrective measures if necessary. The existing checklist must be adapted to the new conditions of the occupational safety strategy SARS-CoV-2.

3. Pandemic plan

In the event of an epidemic or pandemic, the massive loss of sick employees can severely disrupt a company's operations. At the same time, there is a risk of infection with the pathogen at the workplace and in private life. With a pandemic plan, the employer defines measures to clarify suspected cases and to be able to identify and inform contact persons in the event of confirmed infections.

4. Cleaning plan for the kitchen

A checklist for kitchen cleaning helps to ensure hygiene in commercial kitchens. The form helps the staff keep track of the necessary cleaning work and follow the usual work procedures in the kitchen. This checklist must also be adapted to the new conditions.

5. Cleaning plan for catering and sanitary areas

Especially in the current situation, it is helpful to have a checklist for cleaning the restaurant rooms and sanitary facilities. It can be used to record measures that were already implemented before the Corona pandemic. It should also be supplemented by the additional measures necessary to reduce the risk of infection.

6. Food storage

Every restaurateur should be always keep an eye on the food store. This is the best way to plan and ensure the proper storage of food. Due to the more difficult conditions, less capacity may be required in the food warehouse. New planning in compliance with local guidelines is necessary.

7. Supplier audit

Even in difficult times, it remains important to keep an eye on the reliability and quality of your suppliers. Besides, it may be that new suppliers have to be found for the required products. A proper audit of the supplier also helps to check whether a supplier complies with the protective and hygienic measures that are now necessary.

Adapt hazard assessment and hygiene concept

A central point in protecting against infection at the workplace is an appropriate hygiene concept and an effective risk assessment. These should always be available for every catering business. Now it is important to adapt these inspection procedures to the new occupational health and safety strategy SARS-CoV-2.

This also includes sensitizing employees to the most important hygiene rules. Instructions, notices, and operating instructions are a proven means here. The reorganization of work processes and communication about new rules of conduct is also important to offer employees and customers adequate protection. For the restart of the catering trade, every entrepreneur should have a multi-stage emergency plan in place, as it is checked weekly.

The adjustments for the risk assessment and the hygiene concept cover many points. The following infection prevention principles and hygiene rules should be observed for Restart in the catering trade, in any case:

  1. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters between persons should be ensured.
  2. In cases of doubt, where the minimum distance cannot be safely maintained, a mouth and nose cover is provided.
  3. Persons with respiratory symptoms that have not been clarified by a doctor are not allowed to stay in the catering establishment.
  4. In case of suspicion, the established procedures will be applied for clarification.

Advantages of checklists for the reopening of gastronomy

It is not easy to keep an overview with so many changes in different areas. Checklists are a proven tool in the catering industry to check whether measures are implemented, controls are carried out, and rules are observed. Besides, the evaluation of the data makes it possible to discover the potential for improvement and to initiate corrective measures.

The following list gives an impression of what a checklist can be good for when reopening - and also afterward :

  1. A systematic check is made.
    Checklists enable processes in the company to be systematically checked to see where there are weak points and opportunities for improvement and how existing resources can be better used.
  2. Checklist is used to become better.
    The checklists are not only used as a "monitoring instrument" but also as a means of systematically checking and improving processes.
  3. The risks of the work processes are systematically assessed, and the processes are designed accordingly.
    Checklists help to systematically assess work processes and work equipment according to their risks. With their help, measures are determined to control weak points and hazards and how improvements can be introduced.
  4. Effective control of the processes.
    The results of the controls and the risk assessment are used to control the processes and to check the effectiveness of the measures defined in each case.
  5. The criteria for the control are known.
    Employees are informed about the function and the criteria of the control and are instructed to use the checklists.
  6. Employees are actively involved in the improvement process.
    An essential component of safety and quality management is targeted discussions with employees to better use their experience for the future development of the company. Employee surveys also provide information on weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.
  7. The experiences of the guests are systematically recorded.
    The checklist format is also ideal for a guest survey. This way, the guests' opinions about the services provided can be systematically recorded. Furthermore, the data allows them to gain insight into the guests' needs and conduct a foresighted market observation. Complaint management can also be more easily managed with a checklist.

Use digital technology for the restart in the gastronomy sector

A checklist for reopening in the catering trade helps authorised personnel to implement the necessary measures quickly and efficiently, to monitor them over a longer time and, if necessary, to adapt them immediately to new requirements. Compliance with hygiene and safety measures is of great importance to every restaurateur so that the restart is successful.

With Lumiform's mobile app, any kind of quality and safety inspection can be easily performed via tablet or smartphone - online or offline. The desktop software is used to create checklists for reopening in the hospitality industry and to evaluate the collected data later on. This significantly reduces the risk of infections, quality losses, industrial accidents, documentation errors and damage to reputation.

Lumiform makes it easier to comply with the ever-increasing legal requirements for process documentation by using a mobile app to document via smartphone or tablet and guide the system through all documentation processes. Clean, transparent documentation helps to avoid high fines. The digital solution offers restaurateurs and their employees:

  • The flexible form construction kit makes it possible to convert any individual paper list into a digital checklist within a few minutes.
  • Fast and secure start digital with over 12.000 premade templates.
  • Get an overview of everything that's happening on the ground.
  • Increase the efficiency of internal processes: Through more efficient communication within the team and with management, as well as faster reporting of incidents, they are solved up to 4 times faster than before.
  • The very simple operation offers no room for error on site. The app offers less complexity in documenting or filling out checklists than complicated paper or Excel lists.

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