Safer at Home: Restaurants & food services

Updated September 22, 2020

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    Summary of changes:

    Restaurants and food services: Indoor and outdoor on-premise dining.

    • Restaurants, where patrons go for the primary purpose of dine-in service, may open up to 50% capacity, not to exceed 50 people, whichever is fewer, per room, so long as each table is at least 6 feet apart.

    • Find the capacity limits for each county dial level

    • Only allow bar seating options if the bar is not being used for bar service or if there is a clearly designated and separated section of the bar that is not being used for bar service.

    Bars and Breweries

    Bars and breweries that do not serve food from a licensed retail food establishment must close to in-person service.

    • Bars and breweries may continue in-person service, if they:

      • Have adapted to operate like a restaurant.

      • Offer food from a licensed retail food establishment for on-premise consumption and follow the restaurant requirements - including seating all patrons at tables a minimum of 6 feet apart - may operate up to 50% of the posted occupancy limit or 50 patrons per room, whichever is fewer.

        • Only allow bar seating options if the bar is not being used for bar service or if there is a clearly designated and separated section of the bar that is not being used for bar service.

      • Additionally, bars and breweries may use the calculator for indoor events to allow for occupancy up to 100 patrons total per room indoors.  

    • All bars and breweries may continue to operate to-go, curbside and delivery service, but must remain closed to in-person patrons (take-out permitted, e.g. beer sales/cocktail kits from a brewery).

    • Alcohol sales are dependent on county dial level:

      • Level 1: Alcohol sales MUST conclude by 12 a.m.

      • Level 2: Alcohol sales MUST conclude by 11 p.m.

      • Level 3: Alcohol sales MUST conclude by 10 p.m.
         

     

     

     

     

     

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    If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among customers or employees 
    • The restaurant must notify and cooperate with their local public health agency on next steps.

    • Local public health agency contacts can be found here.

    • Outbreak guidance for non-healthcare facilities can be found here.

    Restaurants, bars, and food services: Indoor and outdoor on-premise dining

    Restaurants, where patrons go for the primary purpose of dine-in service,may open up to 50% capacity, not to exceed 50 people, whichever is fewer, per room, so long as each table is at least 6 feet apart.

    Extra large venues that would like more than 50 patrons may use the calculator for indoor events to determine how many additional patrons they can accommodate indoors, up to 100 patrons total per room, which is the indoor variance limit for “medium” viral transmission.

    Food service space 

    • Restaurants are encouraged to continue curbside pick-up/delivery, including alcohol pick- up/delivery.

    • Outdoor dine-in service is encouraged. Please work with local authorities to get authorization for expanding space to accommodate outdoor dine-in for adjacent or nonadjacent public or private spaces. The following requirements must be met:

      • Patrons in different parties must be a minimum of 6 feet apart. The spacing of tables may need to be 6 feet or more to ensure proper physical l distancing between diners from different parties.

      • All employees must wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or when the workspace allows for 6-feet distancing at all times.

      • Disinfecting and deep-cleaning of all shared surfaces between seating.

    • Indoor dine-in service can be held at 50% of the posted occupancy code limit and a maximum of 50 patrons per room, whichever is fewer, if the following requirements can be met:

      • Patrons in different parties must be a minimum of 6 feet apart. The spacing of tables may need to be 6 feet or more to ensure proper physical distancing between diners from different parties.

      • All employees must wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health.

      • Ensure maximum ventilation by opening windows and minimizing air conditioning to the extent possible.

      • Deep clean and disinfect all shared surfaces between parties/at each turnover.

      • Keep parties together, and do not allow them to mingle with each other.

    • Extra-large venues, defined as greater than 7,200 square feet, may use the calculator for indoor events to determine how many additional patrons they can accommodate indoors, up to 100 patrons total per room, which is the indoor variance limit for “medium” viral transmission.

    • Limit party size to ten people or fewer.

    • Make efforts to reduce congregating inside and outside the establishment including:

      • Encouraging reservations, and preferably requiring reservations, if feasible.

      • Waiting parties must not congregate in entrance areas and should wait in their cars or off-premises until seating is available.

      • Disallowing close proximity to others outside the patron’s group by:

        • Eliminating communal seating.

        • Providing a hostess seating option or staffing the dining area to ensure cleaning and disinfecting prior to next-customer seating.

        • Only allow bar seating options if the bar is not being used for bar service or if there is a clearly designated and separated section of the bar that is not being used for bar service.

      • Eliminating customer-service buffets.

      • Eliminating self-service stations that have multi-use utensils (such as hot dog roller tongs, bulk food bins and coffee urns) and implement touchless self-service wherever practicable.

      • Clearly mark floor and ground to delineate 6 -foot spacing for people in lines, and mark how foot traffic should move. Clearly mark closed tables not available for seating customers.

    • Post clear signs notifying patrons and employees of hygiene and sanitation expectations, including not entering if they or anyone in their household is experiencing any symptoms of illness.

    • Minimize objects touched by multiple patrons including:

      • Discontinue use of tablecloths, or move to single-use, or remove and replace laundered tablecloths between patrons.

    • Disinfect any shared objects such as check presenters, laminated menus (if used), and POS machines thoroughly between uses.

    • Increase cleaning and disinfection protocols and track with publicly posted cleaning logs including:

      • Use, as much as practicable, disposable single-use menus, menu boards, or create online menus for guests to review from their electronic device.

      • Provide single-use or single-serving condiments.

      • Disinfect restrooms every hour.

      • Block off stalls and urinals with proper signage to support 6 feet between patrons. This may require reduced bathroom capacity or even only one person in a bathroom at a time.

    • Provide hand sanitizer at the check-in area and throughout the venue.

    Employees  

    • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring and symptom screening questions) where possible and encourage sick employees to use the Colorado COVID Symptom Support tool.

    • Appoint one employee per shift to monitor staff and public for adherence to safety measures.

    • Require employees to stay home and refer to employer or state support when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness (information about emergency sick leave pay).

    • Provide guidance, training, and ongoing training on maintaining 6 foot distancing between employees to the greatest extent possible in all areas of operation.

    • Implement systems to minimize staff interactions, such as workflows, shift cohorting (same staff on each shift), staggering of shifts, shift changes, and breaks.

    • Require employees to wear facial coverings that cover the nose and mouth, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or when the work space allows for 6 feet distancing at all times.

    • Require facial coverings for vendors, suppliers, and contract workers entering the licensed establishment.

    • Require non-latex gloves or frequent handwashing. Encourage frequent breaks to wash hands (at least every 30 minutes) including upon arrival and departure.

    • Adhere strictly to the hygienic practices listed in the Colorado Retail Food Regulations including:

      • Not working when sick.

      • Frequent hand washing.

      • Changing gloves between tasks.

      • Using a fresh pair of gloves after each handwashing.

    • Consider modifying the menu to create additional space in the kitchen and promote physical distancing. Implement physical distancing where practicable.

    • All staff” meetings must follow physical distancing. Consider virtual meetings or meetings outside with appropriate distancing.

    • Require employees to take home all belongings, including water bottles, after every shift.

    • Provide high-quality face coverings for employees as much as possible.

    Performers/competitors

    • Performances with vocal speech or singing, wind or brass instruments, or activities that cause heavy breathing must be 25ft from patrons.* Performances with no forced exhalation as in the prior examples, like a piano, harp, or organ player, must be a minimum of 6ft from patrons, but 25ft is preferred.

    • Participants (e.g., players, performers, actors, competitors, entertainers, etc.) in events should have their symptoms checked, and participants who have been in close contact with an exposed or symptomatic person (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) should not participate and should self-quarantine.

    • Adopt seating and spacing modifications to increase physical distance from a performer. 

    • Where necessary, install barriers to minimize travel of aerosolized particles from performers, or implement alternative placement of performers.

    • Maximize physical spacing between performers on-stage

    • Performers should use a separate entrance/exit than patrons where possible

    • Performers are not included in capacity limits so long as they do not join the spectator/patron areas at any time. If performers join the patron spaces, they must be included in the capacity limit numbers

    • Disinfect high touch areas and equipment such as: microphones, instruments, props, etc. between uses

    To protect customers

    • Provide an option for customers to “sign in” to facilitate notifying them if an exposure occurs.

    • Provide contactless payment or prepayment options whenever possible.

    • Establish customer waiting areas, outdoors if possible, that maintain proper physical distancing from other guests.

    • Restrict standing and/or congregating in the bar area, entrance/exit, and any interior spaces.

    • Continue curbside pick up/delivery options and recommend them for vulnerable individuals.

    • Face coverings are required to be worn in all public indoor spaces unless it would inhibit the individual’s health, while they are eating or drinking, or if it is not age-appropriate.

    • Consider refusing service to customers who refuse to adhere to hygiene and physical distancing requirements.

    • Make accommodations for individuals unable to adhere to masking and physical distancing requirements, such as takeout, curbside, or delivery.

    Pick up only 

    Pick-up space
    • Limit restaurant service to walk-up/ window/ curbside pick up, or delivery only.

    • All bars must remain closed to in-person patrons (take-out permitted, e.g. beer sales/cocktail kits from a brewery).

    • Elevate and increase frequency of cleaning practices, including disinfection of high-touch areas.

    • Conduct daily disinfection and full cleaning in-between shifts in accordance with CDPHE guidance.

    • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring and symptom screening questions) where possible and encourage sick employees to use the CDPHE Symptom Support tool.

    • Post signage for employees and customers on good hygiene and other sanitation practices.

    • Clearly designate pick-up waiting areas with markers for proper distancing between parties, and ensure they do not interfere with in-establishment dining – whether indoors or outside.

    Employees
    • Provide guidance and encouragement on maintaining 6 foot distancing between employees.

    • Wear non-latex gloves and face coverings whenever possible during meal-prep and cleaning

    • Institute frequent breaks to wash hands.

    • Require employees to stay home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness.

    • Employers are encouraged to provide high-quality face coverings.

    To protect customers
    • Implement 6 foot distancing measures (i.e., marked space in check-out lines).

    • Provide contactless payment options whenever possible.

    • Make accommodations for individuals unable to adhere to mask and physical distancing requirements, such as takeout, curbside or delivery.

    Restaurant reopening guidance

    Picture guidelines:

     

    *Research and the CDC suggest that activities like singing may project respiratory droplets in greater quantity and over greater distance, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, particularly with prolonged exposure.

    Frequently asked questions

    Restaurants may open to in-person dining indoors at 50% of the posted occupancy code
    limit, not to exceed 50 people, whichever is less. Tables or groups must be limited to no more than 8 people and be spaced so that patrons are a minimum of 6 feet apart. Restaurants may also use any existing (and new space if your city code allows) licensed outdoor space for in-person dining with the same group limit of 8 and minimum spacing of patrons 6 feet apart. Restaurants must work with local authorities to get authorization for expanding space to accommodate outdoor dine-in for adjacent or nonadjacent public or private spaces.

    Restaurants can only open for in-person dining if the following requirements can be met:

    • Patrons in different parties must be a minimum of 6 feet apart. The spacing of tables should be 6 feet or more to ensure proper physical distancing between diners from different parties.

    • All employees must wear face coverings.

    • Ensure maximum ventilation by opening windows and minimizing air conditioning to the extent possible.

    • Deep clean and disinfect all shared surfaces between parties/at each turnover.

    • Parties must stay seated together and will not be allowed to mingle with other parties.

    Read the guidance for restaurants.

    Yes. Since food trucks have a license to serve food, they are allowed.

    Yes. Under new guidelines bars can open following restaurant guidance. Read the guidance for restaurants.

    Establishments must operate according to the new guidelines, which include having patrons dine in defined groups of up to 8 people who are seated, not allowing patrons to mingle with other groups, observing spacing and hygiene requirements, preferably utilizing a reservation system, and requesting patrons wear a face covering when not eating or drinking. 

    Per the Governor's Executive Order, any approved variances for bars remain in effect (even after the issuance of EO D 2020 123 that closes bars for in-person dining).  

    While it is not possible to eliminate the risk of COVID-19 exposure, restaurants will have to take a number of safety precautions in order to open for in-person dining. This includes steps taken to ensure the safety of the space, employees and customers. Read the full guidance. Additional information on risks of specific activities can be found here.

    Coloradans should contact their local public health department if they believe a business isn’t following proper physical distancing or other requirements and endangering the lives of their customers and staff. Restaurants that operate in violation of public health orders risk a number of enforcement measures, including indefinite suspension of their license for health hazards.

    • Yes, arcade games are permitted at both indoor and outdoor events when following the best practices described in the indoor and outdoor events guidance. 

    • Indoor arcades themselves may open up to 50% capacity or a maximum of 50 people per room, whichever is fewer. 

      • Extra large venues that would like more than 50 patrons may use the calculator for indoor events to determine how many additional patrons they can accommodate indoors, up to 100 patrons total per room, which is the indoor variance limit for “medium” viral transmission.

    • Arcades with food service should follow restaurant guidance for designated dining areas. 

      • Dining areas and activities should be separated from gaming areas as much as possible. 

    • Disinfect high-touch areas and equipment such as: gaming machines and equipment, microphones, instruments, props, etc. between uses.

    • Limit gaming group size to no more than 4 people and maintain at least 6 feet distancing between groups.

    • Lower or turn off volume on games to reduce the need to speak loudly as forced exhalation increases the risk of transmission