We all hope the worst of Covid-19 is in the rearview mirror, but even if that is true, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak will remain with us long into the future. Covid-19 has changed the way we live, and it has certainly changed the food service industry

Consumer and customer expectations have changed dramatically in regards to food safety and proper restaurant sanitation best practices. Additionally, certain regulations related to Covid-19 may remain in place or expand moving forward. If you are involved in food service delivery at a restaurant, airport, hotel, school or university, assisted living facility, business, or hospitals, these changes may impact future facility remodeling, new projects, or simply the purchase of new food service equipment.

Regardless of your situation, C&T Design and Equipment Company, can provide you with expert food service consulting and restaurant design services, including recommendations related to Covid-19 foodservice solutions or other commercial kitchen and food service solutions to support your organization. As you plan your next restaurant, commercial kitchen, or food service project, consider how Covid-19 has affected facility design considerations, including kitchen layout and workflow, as well as food service trends that may impact you?

Handwashing Considerations

  1. Expanded employee handwashing options (at each kitchen entrance and exit)
  2. Handwashing at each task station in BOH and FOH (not just the usual 20’-25’ line of sight)
  3. Handwashing at intended self service areas, i.e. Salad Bars (convertible from self-serve to operator serve)
  4. Touchless handwashing, sensor, foot or knee valves (note: knee and foot valves are not ADA)
  5. Customer handwashing facility entering servery, if restroom are not readily available
  6. Antimicrobial handwashing sinks

Janitorial Considerations

  1. Mop sink in close proximity to kitchen, mop hanger, bucket storage and secured chemical storage of bulk chemicals and point of use spray bottles

Food Shields

  1. Increased vertical separation from client to operator
  2. Flexible/adjustable front glass partition from self-serve to operator serve

Air Flow and Ventilation

  1. Safe airflow and ventilation
  2. Sneeze guards/vertical barriers

Task Areas

  1. Back to back prep areas and work tables rather than shoulder to shoulder   
  2. Single utility sink at each prep table instead of just a flat top table

Warewashing and Dishwashing

  1. Consider use of power wash 3 compartment sink and heater in sanitize bowl
  2. Temperature tracking of wash and sanitize bowl temps with alert to management when out of range
  3. High temp sanitizing dishwashers to render coronavirus and other viruses ineffective

Refrigerated Storage

  1. Temperature tracking walk-in coolers and freezers
  2. Separating beverage refrigerated storage (bottled/canned product received warm)

BOH Space Planning

  1. Increasing square feet to provide greater distancing between task areas 

FOH Space Planning

  1. Contactless order, Apps, Nexstep, GrubHub, etc
  2. Contactless delivery, lockers or shelving
  3. Food delivery services, staging, delivery equipment
  4. Food shield, fully adjustable for transition between self-serve and operator-serve
  5. Increase height of vertical food shields for greater separation
  6. Robotic salad dispensers
  7. NO self serve anything, prepackaged or operator serve
  8. MicroMarket, grab and go service with health temperature lockout in air screen and hinged door refrigerators and freezers
  9. Enhanced MicroMarket offering employees convenience store type items for take home
  10. Self-pay kiosks
  11. Increased square foot in servery from 18/person to 25/person to provide distancing and queuing
  12. Reduction of stations, pop-ups for daily feature (reducing labor) 

Dining and Seating

  1. Eliminate communal large dining tables, not shoulder to shoulder
  2. Increased distancing
  3. Collaboration seating/areas (think Starbucks leisure style)
  4. Vertical barriers or high-backed booths and chairs
  5. Outdoor/patio seating, under canopy

Touchless Self-Service Options

  1. Touchless ice and water dispensers
  2. Touchless beverage / drink dispensers
  3. Touchless faucets and sinks

Other Services

  1. Disposables
  2. Recycling
  3. Single use products
  4. Antimicrobial door handles (MicroMarket and grab and go)
  5. Open-air refrigerators and heated units

Sanitation and Food Safety

  1. Antimicrobial surfaces, finishes, and products 
  2. Removable poly-mat shelving for easier cleaning
  3. Removable anti-microbial mat under shelving (work tables)
  4. Ozone sanitation where available, portable unit for full kitchen sanitation

The past few years, Covid-19 has impacted and helped to accelerate various trends toward food safety and sanitation, decentralization, remote ordering, delivery, service automation, contactless delivery, and more. Additionally, related trends led to increases in ghost kitchens, increases in delivery and takeout spaces, and concerns about future health issues.  

Many of these issues will require some rethinking of commercial kitchen equipment needs, space allocation, cooking and serving strategy. Regardless of your specific food service niche, C&T’s food service designers and consultants can help you make the best decisions to support your business.

Contact us to learn more about our Solutions for Food Service and Commercial Kitchens.