For the past few months, the hospitality industry has been suffering from the unexpected and negative impact caused by the closure of restaurants, bars, and hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has been presented to all of us without the prior preparation necessary to reconfigure a new effective and welcoming business model. This manual will indicate how we will overcome this as a team as we prepare to re-open to the public, while simultaneously prioritizing everyone’s safety first.
It may arduous to indicate what is the right thing to do versus what is the wrong the thing to do as we observe the different protocols that other restaurants are following. Even if we all take every step to follow the highest levels of sanitation and safety, there will still be criticism from others but that is something we might encounter as we begin to engage with the public.
As we become confronted with the uncertainty of the future, every new day that our team is healthy and restaurants stay open is a win for all of us. For now, we will be taking every precautionary measure to ensure our team’s safety and to demonstrate to our community that we are accustoming to this in the most sanitary way possible.
Ghee Indian Kitchen
We are true to ourselves and are proud to come from different backgrounds and ways of thinking. We present ourselves with dignity day in and day out.
Our greatest accomplishments are executed through consistency, not by solitary achievements.
Leading by example is fundamental to the operation of our team. The strengths with-in our team is based on the strength within ourselves.
We are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for our team where we all support one another through the good and the bad, just like
With every problem addressed, there is also a solution provided. Intending to resolve an issue, whether or not it is settled, is a better approach to problem solving than doing nothing at all.
Respect & Unity
Everyone is different and there will always be disagreements presented, but we will always respect one another and communicate our issues without insults or hostility.
Accidents and mistakes are part of life, which is why we must always accept our faults and learn from those experiences. Accepting blame is part of self-growth and being a strong team-player.
Adaption & Innovation
With every new day, we face different ways of accustoming to the new normal. Incorporating ideas and utilizing our creativity will drive our team into rewarding experiences.
Our passion and knowledge are the forces behind the essential components in our work environment. Perhaps we are inspired to succeed for different reasons, but nonetheless we must share our motivation with one-another to stimulate the team.
The following instructions must be completed during every shift:
• Washing hands every 30minutes and after dropping plates and glassware in the dish pit.
• Hand sanitizers and wipes to be madeavailable near every station in the restaurant including back of house.
• Make masks available and mandatory for all. Each staff member will receive one at the beginning of each shift and dispose of it at the end of the shift.
• Scheduled sanitizing of all shared surfaces every 30 minutes including doors and door handles to entrances of the restaurant and bathroom.
• Floor must be swept as food falls on the floor, especially behind the line.
• Increased cleaning across the board with an external agency deep sanitation every week. We use Environmaster.
• Ban physical contact(no handshakes, high fives, fist bumps etc.).
• Hair must be pulled back, and tucked away behind ears.
• Facial hair must be kept trimmed low at all times.
• Nails must be kept clean and at a short length and be checked by supervisor once a week.
• Uniform must be completely spotless every day including shoes and aprons.
*Useful: Guests are very sensitive to hygiene and anything that even looks messy will translate to unclean in their minds, so everyone’s uniforms, hairs, nails, and any surfaces guests can see, it all needs to be tidy and spotless, now more than ever.
• Prepare staff to cover one another's shift in the event that someone has symptoms and needs to stay home.
• Keep a laminated sheet that is visible to every team member that lists clinics and COVID-19 testing sites.
• The Food & Beverage industry does not allow one to work from home. Ensure your team that there are risks with serving the public. Give them the option to decline re-employment but also assure them that we are doing our best to keep our team members safe and protected at all times.
• Do not allow your team to travel for the moment. If they choose to do so, they will have to selfisolate for 14 days and might compromise their employment.
• Invest in contactless thermometers and enforce daily, mandatory COVID-19 symptoms, send home.
• Limit tastings with beverage and food reps and have them send samples instead.
• Create a Health Declaration form that all guests must sign before entering the restaurant. Make sure they leave contact details and keep these safe so that you are able to contact everyone who dined with you if you need to (e.g. if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the restaurant).
• Give your front-of-house team a line to explain to guests why it is necessary, for example, “With the sudden global spread of the virus we are trying our best to keep our community safe and are asking everyone to complete this health declaration.”
• If guests decline to complete the form, do not turn them away. An email will be sent out to many of our regulars with a message about our new policies with an attached DocuSign. We will keep copies by the host stand for walk-ins.
• Try and think about various scenarios and give your teams guidance on how handle them, (what if someone who signed the health declaration starts displaying symptoms like coughing? What if someone tries to enter without wearing a mask?).
*Useful: If you have other venues close by, share info in real-time about potentially problematic guests. For instance, a group of guests who admit that they had all recently travelled together and were turned away but tried (unsuccessfully) and then went to a nearby venue with a different story. Consider creating a WhatsApp group with neighboring bars and restaurants to share info.
• Consider giving guests more space to physically distance themselves from each other. Currently, we will be setting tables six feet apart and Downtown Dadeland will be closing the streets to allow outdoor tables to spread onto the street. We are looking at more long-term changes to the floor plans and will remove tables. We believe physical distancing is going to be part of the “new normal” for the foreseeable future.
• Offer a hygienic option for guests to store their masks during their meal, (either a paper bag with a sticker or even an envelope).
• Offer as many hand sanitizers and wipes as possible, especially before and after the guest’s meal.
• In order to seat a guest, below is a detailed list of the safety protocols we will follow when doing so:
* Guests will stand in waiting area near the curb. Groups will be standing 6 feet away from one another. In the event that it rains, there will be a waiting area designated near the old Erba space.
* Host stand will only accept one guest at a time, (the second door will be used for servers and guests who need to use the rest room, (only one guest is allowed inside at a time).
* Guest visits host stand to be sat and must be wearing a mask upon greeting. Guests not wearing a mask are not allowed to enter the premises and will be asked to find a mask or leave.
* Server will approach the host stand and the host will indicate which table the party will be sat at. The server will change their gloves, then approach to the table with a sanitation caddy and sanitize the table while placing new set ups (plates, glasses, roll-ups, menu, and paper bag for guest to place mask). (if guest becomes impatient and would like to sit immediately, let them know that we are doing our best to maintain every surface sanitized but do not let them sit before the table is cleaned and set up.)
* Once the party sits, let them know that they must place their masks in the brown paper bags provided. Bring enough water bottles to make the least amount of contact possible. Water glasses will not be filled. Water bottles will be washed and refilled after every use).
* If a guest orders wine, do not pour either. Drop glasses and open bottle at table.
* After the order is placed and the food is ready to be taken to the table, the tray will be sanitized at a designated table where it will be sprayed, away from the food. Whoever is running the food will put on new gloves and run the food to the table. Trays will be used for EVERYTHING, even a single chutney.
* Check presenters will not be used and Mukhwas will not be handed.
* Tables will then be cleared with a tray. Sanitized. And they will not be set up and resanitized until the guest arrives.
Since we are a multi-venue group, all team members who travel between the restaurants should be identified and minimize this as much as possible. We are considering the impact of a team member becoming ill and having to close every restaurant he/she has visited.
If someone is sick and needs to stay home in restaurant B, no one from restaurant A may cover their shift and servers are not allowed to pick up shifts from any sister restaurant.
Shifts on the schedule will be staggered. Initially, front of house staff will not be scheduled full-time during phase 2. It is crucial that in the event that someone is sick and needs to self-quarantine, a team-member volunteers to cover their shift.
Hanging out in large groups is prohibited especially on the days in which one is scheduled off. Please respect the honor system since no one can see what anyone else does on their off. Please be considerate of everyone’s health and the possibility that it just takes one person to contract the virus for everyone to be without a job.
Take Out & Delivery
Since we are using a delivery service, we will offer a contactless pick-up area for the restaurant. Riders are not allowed inside of the space and must stand within 6 feet of any staff member who greets them.
• Curries on the menu are now being served in travel friendly containers that offer enough space for curry and rice. This offers more space in the bags and less mess when traveling.
• All orders must be checked after they have been handed to any front of house member to assure that guests receive all items and to avoid discouraging guests from ordering in the future due to any discrepancies. Whichever front of house member who receives the order must check it a second time
• Only items that travel well are offered to-go, (i.e. the tuna bhel is kept separated from the puffed rice).
• Cash is no long accepted and orders must be placed on-line only. The only exceptions for phone payments are:
* If the order is very large and needs to be charged the day prior.
* If the guest is having difficulties accessing the internet
Be patient with guests over the phone and walk them through the on-line ordering process if they are having issues. If they give you a hard time for not taking their order over the phone, explain to them that the situation is out of your control and you are only following company policies. Guide them through the on-line ordering steps and make them feel understood.
When guests order on-line, they are able to modify their items. If a request may not be full-filled or if there is confusion, the guest must be contacted using the phone number they provided.
If multiple bags are used for one order, the guest’s name must be written on each bag.
When receiving an order for a sticky-date cake, underline the item on the bag, and do not place the ice-cream in the back until the guest arrives to pick up their order.
Any item that a guest wishes to add to their order after already placing it may be charged using the credit plus button on revel. Do not accept any credit card payments in person.
Ensure that the messaging across all of your platforms (social media, emails, press releases, conversions with guests etc.) is aligned and timely. Prepare for a guest or a team member to test positive for the virus as if it is inevitable (because it basically is). If you react quickly, sincerely, and transparently, that is half the battle won already.
*Guests will be frustrated, stressed and scared. This often manifests as anger towards us, but stay empathetic in the face of emotional responses.
If a guest tests positive, be prepared to have very little to share due to the confidential nature of such information. It is unlikely that you will get the exact date and time of the visit.
If you are informed of a guest testing positive and the same guest who tested positive has an upcoming reservation, let them know in advance that they will not be accommodated until they fully recover and provide alternatives if you can, such as take out.
Ensure that every phone-call and email is answered. Guests will be calling to ask about policies and how we are offering service during these times.
If a guest is seeking medical advice, direct the guest to the CDC government website to further advice and protocol. We are not medical professionals.
• Prepare a file with announcements to post on social media that states the latest precautionary measures that we are taking, including images and graphics that can be posted on Instagram and Facebook.
• Stay up to date on replying to any emails or direct messages on social media that ask questions about our safety guidelines and seating arrangements.
• Determine your media strategy. Reach out to anyone in the community who has a strong social presence to repost and share any information on new guidelines that are practiced within the restaurant.
• Allow media outlets to write positive articles on the restaurant and accept any free press from sources that have good reputations. For example, PBS’s program, Check Please, recently reached out to us to document an interview with Chef Niven. Make sure to repost and credit sources.
• Change hours of operation so that everything is updated on google searches, open table, yelp, and our website.
*Useful: Be sensitive to the city’s response. Observe other restaurant’s strategies and look carefully at the content that is being uploaded to any social platform. Triple check everything to make sure that there are no insensitive images or captions being used.
• Do whatever is takes to make your team understand that there is no shame around Covid-19 and that they will never be penalized for communicating with you.
• Right now we cannot stress enough how important it is to keep up updated around anything to do with the virus that is happening in your personal life. Let us know if:
* If someone in your apartment building tests positive.
* Someone you live with may have been exposed at their place of work.
* You or your partner experience even mild symptoms.
• We will never be upset if you communicate with us. There is NO stigma around having this virus, we will not make your identity known to the wider team but we do need to be able to get you and your immediate team members tested and offer the help you might need.
• Although we are doing everything, we can to avoid redundancies, we have had to implement some unpaid leave and pay-cuts. As we do not know if/when business will come back, we created a document that reminds our teams, (refer to appendix in the last pages):
* The importance of your health.
* But also, the importance of managing your personal finances. If there are team members who struggle with the English language, check in with them and see if they need help negotiating reductions with their landlords or filling out government aid forms.
• Create signage to place in the back of house of the restaurant to remind staff of new health and safety procedures.
• Helping one another is MANDATORY as we begin to adapt to these new ways. There is no divide between back and front house, everyone is to communicate to one another as a team and work as a unit:
* If there are dishes to wash or put away and servers aren’t busy, they are to help with those tasks along with any prep that is necessary.
* If the phone is ringing or the uber tablet is ringing and there is a back of house member with free hands but the servers are busy, they are to help write uber orders and answer the phone.
* We will offer training to the back of house on how to handle any front of house responsibilities and vise versa to the front of house staff.
The Road Ahead
It is important to stay optimistic but also realistic about the future. It is going to be a long time that the restaurant landscape looks the way it used to.
Adaptation has always been the key to survival and since we are a small business, following these procedures will stimulate the restaurant. As we begin to conform to this new structure, What we might lack in resources we will lack in agility, creativity, and hospitality.
In adversity there is always opportunity to grow and do things differently. If we make it through this, and we will, while there is less competition in the market, our guests won’t have as much expendable cash. We need to consider what the ‘new normal’ will look like and how we can best cater to this new face of diners.
We wish all of you in the industry the best luck and good health and please know that we are here to answer any questions and to help in the best way possible.
Dear Ghee Family,
The next few months are going to be difficult. We have put together a quick document on tips and tricks as we navigate this tough environment. We need to look after ourselves not only physically and mentally but also financially.
Health and Personal Hygiene:
Rest and recover: get plenty of rest, aim for at least eight hours of sleep every night. As we have asked you all to move from work to home only, we hope this allows more time for rest.
Add vitamins C & D to your diet. Supplements can easily be found at your local pharmacies, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eat healthy foods that nourish your body, anything high in antioxidants, immunity boosters, and anti-inflammatories is helpful. Stay away from processed foods where possible.
Drink lots of water as hydration is key. Avoid sugary drinks.
Stay active, incorporate daily exercise, even if it’s just 20 minutes, to keep your physical health and strength up, raise your immunity and maintain mental health. If it works for you, try to meditate or just take five minutes to breath and focus.
Try to avoid alcohol as it lowers your immunity.
Kick the smoking habit, as it will only make symptoms worse.
Carry hand sanitizer at all times and wipe down any shared surfaces before using them.
Use disinfecting wipes to sanitize your phone and computers regularly.
Wear a mask when out in public. Do this for yourself and those around you.
Avoided crowded public places, especially clinics and hospitals (places of increased germs). Social distancing is here to stay.
It is important keep a 6 feet distance between you and others.
You can get helpful updates on www.cdc.gov.
Maintain connections with your friends and family, even if it’s over digital platforms. If you feel overwhelmed or anxious, call someone. Remember that you are not alone in this.
Wash your hands AND ARMS frequently with liquid soap and water and rub them for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to get every space, between fingers, and tops of hands.
Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules and avoid consuming raw or undercooked products.
Sanitize your shoes before entering the house, and avoid wearing them indoors, especially any guests.
Perform regular household cleaning and disinfection.
Open doors and windows to keep your home ventilated.
After using the toilet, put the lid down before flushing to avoid spreading germs.
Disinfect areas that are touched regularly on a daily basis, (door handles, car’s steering wheel and gear stick, counters, toilet seats, etc.)
Negotiate a rent discount with your landlord; a good starting point would be to ask for 20% rent relief for the next 6 months. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Review your expense and eliminate all non-essential costs where you can, (avoid eating out, buying unnecessary items, and try to share streaming accounts with other co-workers).
Make a list of your absolute essential expenses such as utilities, groceries, rent, regular medication, tuition fees, transportation to work, and loan payments so you are always aware of the number you need to survive.
Be financially disciplined and track all expenses.
Use on-line portals such as Facebook, offer up, let go, and poshmark, to sell unwanted items.
If you have mortgages, student or personal loans, reach out to your lenders and enquire about relief programs as banks have put different schemes into place.
Pause gym memberships, cancelling is harder but most clubs allow you to defer. Use on-line tutorials to exercise outside or in your home instead.
If you have any questions reach out to us. WE are all in this together.
Diana Garcia | Restaurant Manager
Niven Patel | Chef/Owner