Make Food Pickup Counters Safe for Customers & Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic
✓ See Our Room Supply Checklist
Food retrieval at many quick service restaurants has undergone significant changes in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. We've come up with recommendations to create a counter experience that's as close to contactless as possible.
Encourage social distancing
Like the order/pay/checkout area, your food counter needs a line.
- TIP: If you don't already, consider separating your ordering/pay area from the food counter/pickup area to help control crowd flow.
- Set up a properly physically distanced queue.
- Use tape or stanchions and ropes to create a queue.
- Mark the 6' distance where customers should stand with cones, signs, or tape.
- If it's a tight space:
- Post signs asking customers to wait in another area or to come back in a few minutes.
- Alternatively, if you have a seating area and it's allowed to be open, have staff bring orders to your guests.
Don't leave condiments and utensils out in communal bins.
At this time, bulk dispensers, even for individually wrapped items, are not safe. It's too easy to transfer from one customer to another. Controlling the dispersal of these items is the safest way to go.
- Move these items (utensils, straws, stirrers, condiments, etc.) behind the counter for employee access only.
- Post a sign letting customers know the items are available upon request.
- TIP: Include language like "for your safety" on the sign.
- TIP: For efficiency, create condiment bags that include all the essentials and add it to prep work. Make sure the employee(s) assigned to this task have properly washed their hands and wear gloves.
Use PPE and partitions to protect employees
Using a two-layer approach to protect employees is best.
Even with all other precautions in place, employees and customers may absentmindedly touch the counter or other items within reach.
Keep in mind that recommendations from your state authorities, the CDC, and OSHA continue to change as we learn more about COVID-19. Be sure to stay updated by signing up for email notifications.
Links to All U.S. States' COVID-19 webpages
OSHA Guidance on Returning to Work (PDF)
CDC Resuming Business Toolkit (PDF)
❏ Hand sanitizer
❏ Disinfecting wipes
❏ Disinfecting wipes holders
❏ Hands-free waste containers with lids
❏ Social distancing signs/decals/markers
❏ Stanchions and ropes/belts
❏ Barrier shields/partitions