The COVID-19 pandemic and related business shutdowns have hit the restaurant industry especially hard. As communities nationwide have rolled back restrictions on business operations, it’s time for independent restaurant owners to roll up their sleeves and decide when and how they will reopen for business.

Use this checklist to reopen your restaurant while keeping yourself, employees and diners safe.

This checklist will help you determine what your customers expect when your restaurant reopens, talk to your employees about reopening, and put supply chains in place to keep your restaurant running smoothly after reopening.

Restaurants face unique challenges in the battle against COVID-19, and whether or not to reopen your restaurant as soon as restrictions for food establishments are lifted is a choice that only you can make. Take federal, state and local health authority guidelines, as well as your business finances, into account when making your decision.

There are several factors to consider as you develop your restaurant reopening plan:

  • How your business model may need to change to stay competitive
  • What types of sales are needed to break even and when you can expect to become profitable again
  • Where to access the financing you may need to retrofit or adapt your restaurant
  • How to maintain a safe environment for everyone who enters your restaurant
  • Any accommodations your employees may need to return to work
  • How to make shoppers feel comfortable coming in to eat
  • How to market your reopening to build awareness and demand

SCORE’s restaurant reopening checklist will help ensure you take all the relevant factors into account to develop a well-thought-out plan, and includes resources to help you.

There’s a lot to think about when reopening your restaurant after coronavirus shutdowns. To get advice about creating your store reopening plan, contact a SCORE mentor online or in your community.

Checklist: Reopening Your Restaurant After the Coronavirus Shutdown