Social distancing means customers will likely be waiting in their cars or outside your business for their orders. Signage and a dose of hospitality are the key to keeping customers happy while waiting for tables or take out.

If waiting outside, it is recommended that customers be lined up in groups 6 feet apart. Creating a plan to keep your waiting area, delivery, takeout, and curbside services all moving safely and efficiently keeps everyone happy.

Consider the following:

  • Talk to fellow tenants, or your landlord, about ways to manage people waiting in parking areas, and in front of your operation, as a result of social distancing.
  • Clearly mark to-go and pick up parking spaces.
  • Section off walk up windows to avoid crowding.
  • Mark six-foot spacing to maintain social distancing between individual parties. This can be done with tape, plants, sidewalk graphics or, if allowed by your landlord and local authorities, benches and chairs.
  • Restaurants with playgrounds must keep them closed until authorized by the local health authorities.
  • Assign an employee to pick up trash and keep all customer facing outside areas clean and neat.
  • Assign an employee to the outside waiting area to help ensure social distancing measures are being taken.
  • Check with landlord and local authorities about having music outside to keep waiting customers entertained.
  • Talk with your POS provider about hand-held electronic ordering options.
  • Consider bringing menus to waiting customers or have staff take orders from customers waiting in line or inside cars to speed up the process.
  • Allow customers to make drink orders and deliver them to the customer while waiting.
  • Bring the customer an unexpected treat. Give them single serve hors d’oeuvres to thank them for waiting.
  • Pressure wash parking lot area before opening and closing.

Additional Resources:

Exterior Signage
SPARK Marketing Partners

*This information is presented for guidance only, and is not a formal endorsement or recommendation of a particular response. This information is not legal, financial, medical, or safety advice. Please consult the CDC and your state’s department of public health for up-to-date guidance for your location.

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