Monday, May 4, 2009

Restaurants adjust ops to swine flu realities

Visits here are spiking as people search via Google for what restaurants are doing about swine flu. My hit-counter program shows what query terms are being input, but not who’s doing the seeking. Are these consumers looking for reassurance, or restaurateurs scouting for safeguards they could readily adopt? Presumably both camps have been active, since there’s surprisingly little information for either.   

A previous post provided a sampling of what restaurants were doing. Here are a few more responses that came to light in recent days: 

Golden Corral has reportedly changed its operating procedures to require handwashing by all restaurant employees three times an hour. According to a news story carried by a Greenville, S.C., TV station, a “Code 100” is called every 20 minutes. That mustering call requires every staffer to immediately wash his or her hands, the report says.

More intense attention is directed at employees who handle money, the story says. Hand sanitizers are positioned near cash registers, where patrons can also give their mitts a shot of disinfectant.   Of course, experts say hand sanitizers aren’t a magic bullet against viruses.

Steak-Out, the steak delivery chain, provides patrons with what amounts to FAQs about swine flu. Included on the handout is ample advice that has nothing to do with being a Steak-Out customer, a PSA of sorts that leaves he impression that the chain is on top of the situation. 

Also provided is this more focused assurance:  
Our commitment to our customers during this outbreak is to make sure Steak-Out employees are following all safe handling procedures including frequent hand washing, proper cooking procedures and making sure only healthy employees are allowed to work, handle, and deliver your meal.
The chain is also looking at ways of lessening contact with customers while fears of contamination still hover in the stratosphere.

Experts have given that general dynamic, evident everywhere from schools to sporting events, the label of “social distancing.”     It's being put forth as the prudent mindset as the tally of infections continues to rise.

And that’s posing a dilemma for the high-society greeters at some playgrounds for the boldfaced-name set: To air-kiss or not to air-kiss, as the New York Times recently put it. 
As James Barron writes…
Julian Niccolini, an owner of the Four Seasons restaurant on East 52nd Street, said there were signs of anxiety in the power-lunch crowd his restaurant is famous for. “For the first time, some people said, ‘I don’t think I should shake your hand’ ” on Thursday, he said, “but most of them shook my hand anyway.” And at a birthday party there that evening, he said, “Everybody was still kissing everybody.”  
 Indeed, some are not giving a kiss a second thought.

1 comment:

kaney said...

These days Swine Flu is in spotlight whether it is a news channel, newspapers or any talk show. Swine Flu is a term given for Influenza that can be transmitted from animals to humans, especially swine. More than a few thousands of people die of different kinds of flue in the United States every year. The diseases are of three main types: Endemic, Pandemic & Epidemic on the basis of their geographic distribution.

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