Many people who rely on restaurants to feed them daily during this crucial time may not know what actually has been going on behind the scenes. Many aspects have changed in the world of restaurants during this difficult time and not many people are aware of what these restaurants have been going through to make sure that their customers stay safe and healthy. Of course safety and satisfaction are always the top needs business owners want for their customers, but what are the new changes happening behind the scenes that customers do not see?
Running a restaurant in the first place is not easy, but having to make sure the new important changes are being followed makes it even harder for owners. At Angelo’s Palace Pizza right down the road in Cumberland, everything has taken a 360. It first started off as minor changes but those quickly evolved into big changes.
The first step Angelo’s took had to do with the workers who dealt with the public, which were the cashiers and delivery drivers. This step involved wearing gloves 24/7 while working, and switching them every so often as needed. But as covid-19 became more of an issue, more things changed. With the dine in half of the restaurant closed, the only way customers could come in was for pick up, but that ended quickly. Angelo’s made the decision to switch their pick up option to the drive through service only, which they are very lucky to have. Luckily for angelos, mainly chain fast food restaurants have a drive through, so they are very fortunate to have a drive through as well.
The next change had involved the ability to pay for orders over the phone. This smart idea minimizes as many interactions between both the customers and workers, which spreads less germs. Not only that, but with each interaction with a customer the worker is required to switch their gloves each time, even if they are just handing food out. Switching gloves between each altercation can be a bit time consuming especially when it is busy during the weekends, but Angelo’s makes sure and enforces that their workers make that extra step to ensure the safety of their customers.
The newest change is making sure that everyone who enters the restaurant, regardless if they are working or not, is wearing a mask. Each employee is required to wear a mask each day they work. From the second they walk in, to the second they walk out, a mask must be on. For the cooks, wearing a mask while making the food in the hot kitchen is not easy to do due to the fact that the masks make it very hard to breathe. But, making these important changes really helps everyone stay safe and provide the best service possible.
Alex Cardoso, owner of Angelo’s Palace makes sure that the restaurant follows all of R.I Hospitality regulations which includes the latest updates from governor Gina Reimondo. She states that herself and the other owners “have daily meetings over the phone to discuss what's the action plan for the day”. Pre Meal is used for all AM and PM workers to be informed about what new rules need to be followed. As a small business owner during this difficult time she makes sure to stay positive. She shares that, “This is our livelihood and [we] have worked 40 plus years. We are extremely lucky to have devoted employees and customers”.
Without being at the peak of the virus, it is not clear as to what the next major changes are. Hopefully, everything starts to calm down and things can quickly go back to normal. People who rely on restaurants during this time are so fortunate to have them still up and running. These essential workers during this time have many new changes happening and it is only the beginning.