San Francisco was a leader in COVID-19 dining policies by requiring restaurants to limit table capacity, enforce social distancing, mandate facemasks and more. Waterfront restaurants Waterbar and EPIC Steak were able to follow the city-enforced rules while also maintaining their standards and guest expectations.
The restaurants’ managing partner Pete Sittnick offers several tips that have helped Waterbar and EPIC Steak navigate their dining service and find success these past few months.
1) Mask wearing! The restaurants have two different styles of restaurant logo masks that all employees must wear. Standardized disposable masks are made available to guests if they forgot to bring their own. Guests can also purchase the branded masks.
2) Hand sanitizer stations. Both restaurants make sanitizer in all forms readily available, including wall-mounted, stand-up dispensers, push nozzle and spray bottles.
3) Signage. The restaurants use a variety of signs approved by the city of San Francisco as well as some creative signage and floor decals that promote social distancing and guide guests through their dining experience as safely as possible.
4) Conversations with guests. Workers always handle communications with guests professionally, but with a sense of humor or lightness that conveys the idea that “we are all in this together, so let’s all work together.” Guests really appreciate the messaging when it is delivered in the spirit of positivity.
5) Training and ongoing dialog. Both restaurants emphasize protocols at all pre-shift meetings with staff and during service. Staffers are also always encouraged to give suggestions on how to be more efficient and safer. Waterbar and EPIC Steak take pride in having an open-door communication policy and allowing the staff to voice their opinion via surveys and group meetings.