Post-COVID Reopening Checklist for Bars & Breweries

Post-COVID Reopening Checklist for Bars & Breweries
April 27, 2020 Levi Olmstead

As we close in on the reopening phase of the global COVID-19 outbreak, states are beginning to set dates for when businesses can reopen.

Some states in parts of the country less impacted by COVID-19 will be allowed to reopen as early as the first week of May.

With that in mind, having a solid reopening plan for your bar or brewery might be the deciding factor that sets your business on course for returning to normalcy or closure. Here are some of the things you should prepare for as a bar or brewery owner.

Download our post-COVID reopening checklist for bars & breweries.

COVID-19 Safety Policies & Precautions for Reopening Bars & Breweries

The first thing taverns and taprooms should prepare for are how they will ensure customers that they will not be exposed to the virus if they come to your business. 

Without proper precautions, many customers will avoid your establishment all together – and the ones that do visit will be at risk of serious medical complications. Neither is good press for a bar or brewery already struggling to maintain day-to-day operations.

For creating new policies aimed at keeping your staff and customers safe, we’ve broken it down into two categories: Sanitation and Social Distancing.

COVID-19 Sanitation Policies for Bars & Breweries

  • Provide staff and customers with hand sanitizing stations
  • Clean and disinfect every table and bar area between customers including menus, chairs, tabletops, silverware, condiments, ordering devices, and anything else in your business
  • Increase restroom sanitation checks
  • Use contactless digital menus

Social Distancing Policies for Bars & Breweries

  • Limit number of customers to 50 or less
  • Increase standing room
  • Change floor plan to keep tables 6+ feet apart or seat customers at every other table
  • When serving customers, place items on the table instead of handing directly to the customer

Relaunch your bar or brewery with a full food menu – without a kitchen!

How to Prepare Your Staff for Reopening

In order to successfully reopen, you’ll need the staff to feel safe at work and onboard with your plan to reopen safely. 

If you haven’t been in touch with your staff in a few weeks, it’s a good idea to connect with them via a video conference call on Skype or Zoom to inform them of the reopening plan. The best advice is to over-communicate with your employees. Ask for feedback on your relaunch plan and if they have any ideas on how to improve the business’s safety measures.

You’ll also need to have your employees complete trust that you are doing everything you can to minimize the risk of them catching COVID-19 while at work. While we love drinking at our favorite bars and breweries, we can all agree that sharing a drink with friends is not worth risking the lives of those in the service industry.

The following are things you can do to protect your staff:

  • Video conference with staff to inform them on reopening plans
  • Provide staff with protective equipment such as masks and gloves
  • Train staff on new policies and safety measures
  • Implement new procedures for employees that are sick such as mandatory 2 weeks off and temperature checks upon returning
  • Don’t force employees to take shifts who are not comfortable returning to work
COVID Reopening Checklist
For bars, breweries, distilleries, taprooms, and taverns.

Check with Local Inspectors and Government Officials

Upon reopening, each state and city will have a different set of rules and regulations for how to reopen safely. You’ll also most likely need to have a new set of inspections for your bar or brewery before you’re allowed to legally reopen.

It’s recommended that you contact all of your local inspectors including the health, fire, and liquor control departments in your local area. Do this early, as those who wait until the last minute will not be able to schedule an inspection due to their full schedules.

Check on Inventory Levels

Reopening means that you need to ensure your business is ready to go. That means being stocked with the inventory necessary to serve customers. This includes both new inventories you didn’t need to purchase before COVID-19 (think hand sanitizer, masks, gloves) as well as the day-to-day necessities your business relied on before COVID-19.

Download our post-COVID reopening checklist for bars & breweries.

Cut Costs Where You Can

As we close in on two months of stay-at-home orders, many bars and breweries are struggling to pay the bills. While you’ve most likely cut costs in the places you could already, you’ll need to continue cutting costs at every opportunity.

Potential costs to cut include:

  • Marketing budget
  • Less inventory
  • Fewer staff members
  • Anything not necessary for day-to-day operations

One major way of cutting costs is for many bars and breweries that operate a kitchen to not reopen it. This saves money on kitchen operation, staff, and inventory costs.

This doesn’t mean you can’t continue to offer your customers a food menu though. You can partner with nearby restaurants to leverage their kitchen to provide a full food menu to customers in your bar or brewery with 2ndKitchen.

Launch Low-Budget Reopening Marketing Campaigns

While reopening will allow bars, taverns, breweries, and taprooms to serve customers on-site, it doesn’t mean that customers will show up. Many businesses are banking on a return to normalcy, and that will not be the case. You’ll need to invest in low-budget marketing campaigns to drive customers to your business.

A few low-cost marketing campaigns to consider are:

You don’t need a kitchen to serve food

2ndKitchen partners your bar or brewery with restaurants in your neighborhood to serve food without the hassles of a kitchen.