EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the FEJ Takeaway & Delivery Checklist!
Increasing numbers of restaurants and foodservice businesses are beginning to reopen their premises to provide takeaway and delivery services.
For many, turning the lights back on and firing up the ovens to offer this style of service during the Covid-19 pandemic presents a whole series of challenges to think about.
But fear not, as we have pulled together the latest and most relevant advice from the government and market experts to compile a comprehensive list of what operators need to consider in order to operate safely and remain in line with current restrictions.
While some of the advice might sound like good ol’ common sense, it should help to provide a framework for the measures that operators need to consider as they formulate plans to reopen.
The guide is split into six key sections, so simply scroll below for the latest guidance on areas such as social distancing, signage, food preparation and kitchen hygiene.
At the end of each section, you will also find a ‘Solution Spotlight’ containing information about an industry supplier or brand that currently offers a dedicated solution to help operators successfully evolve their takeaway and delivery business, including Merrychef, Moduline, Metro and Cater-Bake.
So without further ado, here is the FEJ checklist for transforming your kitchen into a fully compliant takeaway and delivery operation…
1. KITCHEN STAFFING
The first step for any business reopening their kitchen is to plan for the minimum number of people needed on the premises to operate safely and effectively.
– Stagger arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.
– Provide additional parking or facilities such as bike racks to help people walk, cycle or drive to work where possible.
– Reduce congestion, for example by having more entry points to the workplace. If you have more than one door, consider having one for entering the building and one for exiting.
– Use markings to guide staff coming into or leaving the building. Provide hand sanitiser at all entry and exit points.
– If gloves are used, they should be changed as often as you would wash hands, and hands must be washed after gloves are changed or removed.
– Gloves must also be changed after carrying out non-food related activities, such as opening and closing doors by hand, handling money and emptying bins.
– Provide storage for staff clothes and bags, and request staff change into work uniforms on site using appropriate facilities/changing areas where social distancing and hygiene guidelines can be met.
– If staff must wear face masks, ensure they are masks that you provide, not ones they have worn into work.
– If possible, wash uniforms on site rather than by individual staff members at home.
– As far as possible, where people are split into teams or shift groups, fix these teams or shift groups so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same people.
– Consider where congestion caused by people flow and ‘pinch points’ can be improved. Using one-way systems, staggered shifts and assigned staff breaks are possible ways to minimise the risk of transmission.
SOLUTION SPOTLIGHT: Merrychef ovens speed up cooking throughput for takeaways
Merrychef high speed ovens can cook up to 20 times faster than conventional cooking methods – a significant increase in speed which is a must for takeaway venues at this time. After all, quicker food throughput means reduced customer wait times and shorter queues for optimum customer satisfaction, and of course, safety.
Designed with food safety and quality at the forefront, Merrychef ovens safely cook at high temperatures (typically 260°C) and has a finely balanced cooking system to ensure even and consistent cooking and browning across all food items.
Delivering consistent, delicious food within minutes, from a hot toasted sandwich in 40 seconds from chilled; a pizza in just 2.45 minutes from frozen to reheating cakes in less than 30 seconds, guaranteeing customer loyalty and repeat business to build revenue quickly.
Operators that are looking to switch or add on a take-out service at this time can do so with ease, particularly with the Merrychef eikon e1s and eikon e2s models which can be placed almost anywhere due its compact, ventless design. For further flexibility, these models are also available in low amp plugs which also helps reduce set-up costs.
The majority of Merrychef ovens arrive with pre-programmed, food-to-go recipes meaning operators can start toasting, cooking and reheating delicious takeaway options immediately. Operating the oven is also simple thanks to the inclusion of an easyTouch, icon driven operating screen while Menuconnect software allows for effortless oven set-up and menu management via a standard USB memory stick which reduces the need for management to be present at the operation, therefore limiting unnecessary staff contact.
For further info please click HERE.
2. FOOD PREPARATION
Covid-19 is a respiratory illness. It is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging. But operators need to maintain social distancing and reduce contact where possible in kitchens and other food preparation areas.
– As outlined under the ‘Kitchen Staffing’ section, put teams into shifts to restrict the number of workers interacting with each other and minimise interaction between kitchen staff and other workers, including when on breaks.
– Space workstations two metres apart as much as possible, recognising the difficulty of moving equipment such as sinks, hobs and ovens.
– Consider cleanable panels to separate workstations in larger kitchens.
– Provide floor marking to signal distances of two metres apart. Use ‘one-way’ traffic flows to minimise contact.
– Minimise access to walk-in pantries, fridges and freezers, for example with only one person being able to access these areas at one point in time.
– Minimise contact at ‘handover’ points with other staff, such as when presenting food to serving staff and delivery drivers.
– If due to business closure you decided to freeze products you would normally store, ensure that you are able to use the food safely, taking into account product durability once defrosted and allergen management.
– Ensure your business is compliant with allergen and hygiene requirements for distance selling. This involves providing allergen information before the purchase of food is completed and when it is delivered. For more information, visit the FSA guidance HERE.
SOLUTION SPOTLIGHT: Moduline ensures food looks and tastes as if it has just been cooked
For operators running takeaway and home delivery services, ensuring that enough of the most popular menu items are ready for peak trading periods can be a challenge.
The Moduline range of advanced hot holding appliances effortlessly solves this problem, improving efficiency and reducing wastage. Foods can by cooked in advance and held in the perfect conditions before they are ready for collection or delivery.
Moduline static hot holding cabinets, trolleys and drawers perfectly control moisture and heat to ensure the consistency, taste and appearance of food looks as if it has just been cooked. Advanced technology ensures even and stable temperatures, from 30°C to 120°C (depending on the model), accurately calibrated to be gentle on the food, thus preserving moisture, flavour and aroma.
The wired heating system is wrapped around the external cavity wall and electronically controlled with precision to hold the humidity contained in food without drying it, unlike ventilated holding systems.
The Moduline holding range consists of 21 models for table-top, built-in or floor standing applications and all models are characterised by low energy consumption and maximum efficiency thanks to high performance insulating materials that ensure lower heat dispersion. An intuitive control panel offers easy access to all functions and settings, making it easy to use by less skilled staff.
For further info please click HERE.
3. INBOUND & OUTBOUND GOODS
Operators need to maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site, especially in high volume situations, for example distribution centres or despatch areas.
– Revise pick up and drop off collection points, procedures, signage and markings.
– Consider methods to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example by ordering larger quantities less often.
– Where possible and safe, have single workers load or unload vehicles. Use the same pairs of people for loads where more than one is needed.
– Create one-way flow of traffic in stockrooms.
– Adjust put-away and replenishment rules to create space for social distancing. Where social distancing cannot be maintained due to workplace design, sufficient mitigation strategies should be designed and implemented.
– Enable drivers to access welfare facilities when required, consistent with other guidance.
– Encourage drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice, such as preventing drive-aways.
SOLUTION SPOTLIGHT: Metro range helps operators optimise takeaway and delivery
The Metro foodservice portfolio includes a comprehensive range of products to help operators optimise their takeaway and delivery services – from maximising storage and workspaces in accordance with social distancing guidance, through to solutions which improve the flow of takeaway order staging.
SmartLever is a strong cantilever shelving system which is quick and easy to install enabling operators to set up individual workstations and storage areas in virtually any space, so staff can work efficiently and at a safe distance from their colleagues. A number of trial units are available for FEJ readers to test on site. For further details click HERE or contact Jestic on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SmartWall range of accessories complement the SmartLever systems by creating a useful storage solution for the often underutilised wall space. A wide variety of shelves, containers and specialised accessories can be added to a base grid, all of which incorporate Microban antimicrobial protection.
PrepMate is a portable, multifunctional workstation which can be wheeled to any location, enabling chefs to efficiently perform a wide variety of prep tasks at a safe distance from other staff. A QwikSet option is available for PrepMate which effortlessly raises or lowers the work surface height to achieve the ideal ergonomic position.
Metro Order Staging Units are the perfect solution for the preparation of home delivery orders and are also ideal for storing supplies – whilst To-Go-Stations feature angled 18” x 36” shelves to improve visibility and accessibility, making it easy for delivery drivers or customers to pick up orders front-of-house.
For further info please click HERE.
4. SOCIAL DISTANCING
Kitchens can be small places and in normal circumstances avoiding contact would not be easy. But changing a few basic habits can reduce the chances of transmission.
– The two-metre rule is essential, so consider whether equipment can be reconfigured or repositioned to facilitate side-by-side or back-to-back working.
– If meetings or briefings between staff are necessary, use floor signage to help people maintain social distancing. Only absolutely necessary participants should attend.
– Avoid transmission during meetings, for example from sharing pens and other objects.
– Hold meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible
SOLUTION SPOTLIGHT: Cater-Bake’s Zanolli pizza oven and thermal bags make delivery easy
For restaurants looking to start their takeaway service, or takeaways aiming to ramp up their operation, the Zanolli Conveyor Pizza Oven is a vital piece of equipment that will guarantee speed, consistency and ease-of-use.
Cooking a pizza in just four minutes, the Zanolli Conveyor Pizza Oven is perfect for developing a successful takeaway service by increasing the user’s production levels without affecting the quality of the food.
The ease-of-use means the oven can be operated effectively by unskilled workers, saving the operation time on any training and maximising the efficiency of staff. The oven can also be used to serve up many types of foods, not just pizzas, from baked goods to a range of other takeaway options.
Available in both gas and electric, there is a conveyor oven in the range to suit all operations. The ovens come in different belt widths, from countertop to freestanding. All ovens can also be easily cleaned through disassembly.
Alongside the ovens, the Cater-Bags from Cater-Bake are also a must-have for takeaways. The high-quality, thermal food delivery solution designed to keep food piping hot during delivery. Temperatures are easily maintained at 85°c, on the move, with the use of ISO Thermo technology and included is a compatible adapter, allowing drivers to charge from within their car.
For more info please click HERE.
5. CLEANING & HYGIENE
Cleaning measures are already stringent in kitchen areas, but additional cleaning and disinfection measures are advised to keep the workplace clean and prevent transmission from touching contaminated surfaces.
– Carry out a thorough clean of your food premises and equipment before re-starting operations.
– Have bins for collection of used towels and staff uniforms.
– Ask workers to wash hands before handling plates and takeaway boxes. Continue high frequency of hand washing throughout the day.
– Wedge doors open, where appropriate, to reduce touchpoints. This does not apply to fire doors.
– Clean laminated menus or dispose of paper menus after each use.
– Provide only disposable condiments or clean non-disposable condiment containers after each use.
– Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between uses, using your usual cleaning products.
– If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of coronavirus then you should refer to the following government guidance HERE.
– Use signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique and the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm.
– Set clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible. Provide paper towels or electrical driers to dry hands
– Provide more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.
– For more detailed guidance on kitchen cleaning, view the Food Standards Agency’s ‘Cleaning Effectively in Your Business’ document for food businesses HERE.
6. CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
Whether customers are coming to site to collect orders, or delivery drivers are arriving to pick up food, businesses must minimise interactions with outside workers and the public when selling food or drinks.
– Minimise contact between kitchen workers and delivery drivers or riders, for example by having zones from which delivery drivers can collect packaged food items.
– Non-kitchen workers (or ‘front-of-house’ staff) should serve customers purchasing food and drink, minimising the time they spend in the kitchen where possible.
– Create a physical barrier, such as a screen, between front-of-house workers and customers.
– Encourage contactless payments where possible.
– Limit access to premises for people waiting for or collecting takeaways. Set out clear demarcation for two metre distances for customers queuing. Ask customers to wait in their cars.
– Regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded, and place two-metre markers on the floor to maintain social distancing inside the premises.
– Ask customers to order online, on apps or over the telephone to reduce queues and stagger pick up times.
– Make regular announcements to remind customers to follow social distancing advice and clean their hands regularly.
– Determine if schedules for essential services and contractor visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people, for example carrying out services at night.
AND ONE MORE THING…
Planning rules were relaxed at the start of the coronavirus outbreak to allow pubs and restaurants to operate for 12 months as hot food and drinks takeaways. Don’t forget to tell your local authority when the new use begins and ends! You can find your local authority food safety team HERE.
SOLUTION SPOTLIGHT INDEX
Tel: 01892 831960
Tel: 01892 831960
Twitter: @Jestic_Ltd @MetroFS