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Top safety tips while supporting your favorite restaurants 

April 14, 2020 | Small business
Top safety tips while supporting your favorite restaurants , CDC Small Business

One important way to support restaurants during these challenging times is to keep being a customer, especially by ordering online or phoning in an order for pickup. 

#TakeoutTuesdays is a big reminder of that. But, of course, where the coronavirus is concerned, it’s important to take a few precautions. 

Taking a few extra steps as you continue to support your favorite local restaurants and cafes on #TakeoutTuesday – or any day – is smart as we all continue to play it safe and quarantine. 

The unquestionable top tip – it’s simple and we bet you’ve gotten really used to it by now:

That’s hand washing (don’t forget the 20-second rule). Wash or use hand sanitizer before you pick up your food and after. And post-pickup, don’t touch your face until you’re washed.

Restaurant safety reminders

Pay and tip on the phone or online: This minimizes physical contact. If you’re in person and must sign a receipt, try to use your own pen.

Contact-free delivery: Ask the driver to leave your order on the doorstep, or choose the option in your delivery app, also to limit personal contact.

Curbside service: If the restaurant offers it, let the employee bring out your order, set it near you or your car and walk at least 6 feet away. Then come closer or exit your vehicle to retrieve the food. The worker also might agree in advance to place the order in your trunk.

Unload and discard containers: Clear and clean an isolated space in your kitchen to set out the food. Put it out on plates and discard containers and bags. Use your own utensils or wash those provided by the restaurant. Clean the area the containers touched. 

Ask the restaurant about their safety measures: Restaurants have responded to the crisis by assuring customers that they are constantly cleansing surfaces and requiring workers to wash their hands. Reach out to your favorites so you know what protocol they have in place. Many may list it on their website.

In some cases, public health officials also now require them to have workers wear masks and gloves while on the job. The FDA also called for 6-foot social distancing to be maintained by food workers as they prepare dishes. In addition, some delivery services have provided drivers with sanitizer, gloves or disinfectant for their cars.

Several virologists also note that coronavirus has not been found to have been transmitted via contact with food.

Lifeline for restaurants

The National Restaurant Association estimates that at least 5 million jobs are at stake in the industry because of the coronavirus. So while you may enjoy your favorite latte, soup or pad Thai right now, your order means even more for restaurants. It’s a lifeline for these small businesses.

So this #TakeoutTuesday or any day that you can continue to #supportsmall and do it safely.


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CDC Small Business Finance is a trusted small business lender, award-winning nonprofit and advocate for entrepreneurs. Over more than four decades, we have provided $18 billion in funding to over 11,000 borrowers … and counting. Unlike a traditional lender, we have the flexibility to offer affordable loans to underserved small business owners. Our lending also plays a role in bolstering economic development, and has helped to create or preserve more than 200,000 jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada.

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