General comments and suggestions as you begin the re-opening process




BFC Re-Opening Resource Guide


We continue to see daily changes and updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to the food service industry. The BFC network of distributors has been on the front lines of essential service, supporting their customers from day 1. As various parts of the country reopen, we wanted to put together a resource guide that can help you further assist operators in their reopen strategy.



·    General Operator Reopening Questions

·    Virus Precautions and Quick Thoughts for Workplace Prevention

·    Principles for Effective Reopening

·    Helpful Links


General Operator Re-Opening Questions


The CDC defines those with Medium exposure risk as those whose, “jobs include those that require frequent and/or close contact with (i.e., within 6 feet of) people who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but who are not known or suspected COVID-19 patients.”


As different locations are at different stages of the reopening process, please make sure to consult your local health officials and government agencies on the current stage reopening. Local guides, policies and procedures will vary by region.  


Please also note that the health and well-being of customers and staff are top importance considering the exposure risk.


As you begin to determine what re-opening looks like as your yourself:



·    Incorporate recommended CDC guidelines – masks, distancing, cleaning regiment, increased ventilation?


·    Adapt to new capacity restraints – adjust menu and ingredients accordingly


·    Develop a new plan of safety protocols?


·    Develop protocols if someone does get sick?


·    Monitor current CDC, national and local health recommendations and restrictions?


·    Evaluate customer and staff habits – define new routines, reorganize space?


·    Communicate effectively to employees and customers – effective communication will make both staff and customers more comfortable?


Virus Precautions & Quick Thoughts





·    Encourage sick workers to stay home

·    Require regular hand washing

·    Require Masks

·    Installing physical barriers between sections for both patron and employee

·    Minimize contact between staff or designate zone restrictions to reduce the cross contamination

·    Establish alternate days or shifts to reduce employees

·    Provide items to promote personal hygiene

·    If possible minimize face to face contact






·    Close the restaurant for full detailed cleaning - wait between 24-72 hours to reopen

·    Communicate with staff as to any confirmed incidents

·    Once space is clean bring in staff that was not exposed to sick individual






·    Adhere to National, State and local guidelines for capacity and distancing

·    Build up to a full staff - start with takeout/limited dine in business and determine needs as you go.

·    Keep your online presence up-to-date with Customer expectation and current menu.

·    Make sure your distributor knows of your plans – perhaps include them in the opening process.  


Principles for an Effective Reopening




Think about how you will define customer expectations for seating, menu, food presentation, cleanliness, social distancing etc.


·    Communicate customer expectations on social media, website, and signage – different customers are going to have different expectations, and restrictions – having clearly defined protocols can ensure there is a great chance the customer is comfortable with the safety of their visit

·    Clean, clear physical signage so there is no confusion upon arrival – where to stand, how to line up, what is required (i.e. Mask)

·    Divide arrival/exit space into clearly defined zones for distancing

·    Separate a space designated for take out

·    Provide hand sanitizer at door entry



When posting updates to the internet please keep the information very clear and concise. Too much information wont be read, but too little wont provide enough to give an accurate representation of what is expected.


TIP: Draw an outline of your restaurant space. Pencil in how you forsee the flow of customers for both pick up and dine in, front of the house, and back of the house staff. Once a plan is determined, ad signage so its easily understandable before a guest enters the premisis.




How will you change the flow of the restaurant to better ensure staff and customers safety?


·    Limiting of repetitively used items i.e Menu's, condiments, silverware, napkin dispenser, etc.

·    How will staff present menu's and order taking

·    Will tables be marked when cleaned and ready for the next patron?

·    Will there be a separation of tables – either distance or divider (plastic sheet/shower curtain)?

·    Provide cleaning towelettes for table etc. 

·    Meal presentation – how will meals be served – will they be covered, on a serving cart or hand passed, etc. 

·    Separate busing duties from cleaning duties – make it clear that space has been thoroughly cleaned

·    Restrict access to kitchen to avoid cross contamination





Restrooms should be updated to be as contact free as possible.


·    Perhaps limit the bathroom to 1 person at a time

·    Use clear signage to encourage hand washing

·    Invest in self flushing toilets, soap and hand towls

·    Dedicate staff to ensuring not only bathrooms but door handles sinks surfaces etc are as clean as possible on a consistent basis.  




·    Helpful Guides

·    CDC: Cleaning and disinfecting guidelines:

·    CDC Reopening a building after shutdown:

·    National Restaurant Association:

·    IFDA - -

·    IFDA COVID-19 Resources -

·    NRA State Action Center:

·    NRAEF Restaurant Relief Fund:

·    Local State Restaurant Associations:

·    International Franchise Association:

·    Food Banks/Meal Providing Associations:



·    Research & Insight:

·    Black Box Intelligence:

·    Datassential:

·    Technomic:

·    NPD:

·    News and Resources:

·    Restaurant Business: 

·    Restaurant Owner:

·    Nation’s Restaurant News: 

·    The Shelby Report:

·    CSP (C-store news):

·    Chain Store Guide:



Bellissimo Foods Company | 1600 Riviera Ave, Ste 315, Walnut Creek, CA 94596


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Delco Foods · 5000 Anson Blvd · Whitestown, IN 46075 · USA