The CDC recently released new guidelines stating that the virus spreads easily between people, but not easily in other ways, including touching surfaces or objects. While this news provides some degree of relief as Americans determine how to safely venture out, most prefer the security of maintaining their COVID precautionary habits. Due to this, social distancing and a high level of cleanliness should still be enforced within your restaurant.

Now that many businesses are reopening, our need for safety has become front and center. Signs of hope like vaccine progress or the recent CDC guidelines offer some comfort, but few people believe these options will be available soon, especially with an imminent second wave looming in the back of our minds. People will cling to social distancing behaviors they have picked up during the pandemic as their best line of self-defense. As restaurants reopen and consumers look to visit their favorite eateries again, operators should consider maintaining high levels of precautionary tactics to keep diners feeling safe.

Consumers continue to find wearing face masks and carrying hand sanitizer to be a worthwhile effort. While the new CDC guidelines bring a sense of relief, “less risky” does not equate to “no risk,” so people will continue to practice safe hand sanitation almost universally, as well as other social distancing methods. So it’s important for restaurants to make sure their staff are seen wiping down surfaces, wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. Consistent with earlier Datassential learnings, when it comes to feeling safe with takeout food, consumers just want to know the staff is healthy and wearing protective gear. Tactics like special packaging or including disinfecting wipes aren’t necessary but could be a bonus to help differentiate restaurants.

In this report, you’ll find data and insights, as well as recommendations around how you can make consumers feel more at ease dining in. Key takeaways from this report are as follows:

  • 40% of consumers say restaurant patrons not complying with social distancing should be asked to leave immediately
  • 66% of consumers are aware of the new CDC guidelines
  • 84% of consumers are still going to be very careful to wash hands and wipe surfaces after touching them
  • 72% are still nervous about touching surfaces
  • 58% of consumers want to know if restaurants are sending any sick staff members home
  • 57% of consumers want to know if restaurants require cooking staff to wear protective cloves, masks, and hairnets
  • 52% of consumers want to know if restaurants require delivery food packers to wear protective gloves, masks, and hairnets

Download the full report from Datassential by clicking the button below.