City of Vancouver Cancels Restaurant Table Service Order

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The second phase of the reopening in British Columbia officially started today, with some companies allowed to open under “enhanced protocols”.

And after WorkSafe BC released a list of measures for resuming restaurants, cafes and pubs, the City of Vancouver announced on Tuesday that it was reversing its emergency decision to close the restaurant table service.

The order, which was issued on March 20, closed all restaurant table service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers were prohibited from eating in licensed premises and the number of customers in any location was limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Now, as the provincial government continues its restart plan, the city is rescinding the order.

However, all business owners are still subject to orders issued by provincial health officials, Dr. Bonnie Henry, regarding the conditions for reopening restaurants.

In a statement, the city said that, in accordance with council directive to provide more flexibility for restaurants to provide outside service, staff will begin accepting temporary terrace permit applications in the next two weeks and will expedite the review of these requests.

As part of the initiative, the city said staff are engaging with business improvement associations in each neighborhood to identify public spaces, including sidewalks and parking, that could be reallocated to support businesses. local.

Sufficient distancing measures are now necessary

The catering guidelines include, but are not limited to, the requirement that establishments do not exceed 50% of their usual customer capacity at a time.

The ordinance also restricts tables to groups of six and requires two meters between customers seated at different tables and between customers of different groups seated at a bar or counter.

At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry was asked to clarify the public health order around restaurants and bars and the capacity rule for the second phase.

“There is not much science. [This is] based on the attempt to put in place a rational approach to the number of people who would create enough crowds for us to put other people at risk, “said Dr. Henry.

“Part of that is … being able to find that physical space, so for a lot of people, depending on how your restaurant is set up to have the space between tables that allows it, you won’t be able to do 50% of this ability. “

Table service changes

The table service will now be very different for the guests. Here are the measures described by WorkSafeBC:

  • Ask guests to pour their own water by providing water in a bottle or jug ​​at the table. Or pre-pour water glasses at the bar.
  • Remove buffets and other self-service equipment.
  • Ask the waiters to leave food and drink on the front of the table and let the guests pass after the waiter has left.
  • Remove one chair from each table and use this space as a designated place for the server to come to the table, similar to the open side on a booth. This ensures that workers do not have to sneak between customers.
  • Remove salt and pepper shakers, sauce dispensers, candles and other tableware. Provide if requested and replace with carefully cleaned and disinfected products. Consider the single use options.
  • Avoid touching the coffee cups when filling.
  • If customers request to take unfinished food with them, provide packaging and let the customer put the food in the container.
  • Use digital menu boards, large blackboards, or online pre-order alternatives instead of traditional menus. If this is not possible, consider disposable single use menus.
  • Try to limit the use of cash and limit the processing of credit cards and loyalty cards whenever possible by allowing customers to scan or type their cards and manipulate the card readers themselves same. Encourage payment by tapping on the PIN pad.
  • Ask someone to direct or install decals to facilitate movement of people during peak periods.
  • Consider transforming the bars into service or passage counters. In this scenario, the kitchen teams could deliver dishes to the bar and the waiters pick up from there. This reduces contact and reduces circulation in the kitchen.

“If possible, employers are also required by this order to keep the contact details of a member of each client group for thirty days in the event that it is necessary to seek contacts from the medical officer of health”, indicates the WorkSafeBC Document.

In addition to these table service measures, WorkSafeBC described general considerations as well as delivery and cooking protocols.

Looking forward to

Many restaurants are choosing to reopen their restaurant services starting next month, but a handful of businesses have announced their opening today.

Dr. Henry also reminded us that these protocols in place on May 19 may change in the future depending on how things work.

“We will review it when we get through this phase and find out if … we will also be willing to follow industry instructions on how it works. [and] what we can do to tweak and manage things as we go along. “

With files from Hanna McLean

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