cafe checklist

The Ultimate COVID-19 Cafe Checklist

Cafes and restaurants need to take extra care to ensure staff and customers are protected from COVID-19. We have compiled a dozen different checklists into the Ultimate COVID-19 Cafe Checklist to help ensure you are doing everything possible to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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  • Elect a COVID-19 manager to oversee all safety
  • Place a COVID-19 trained representative on each shift

Daily checks

  • Screen employees at the start of each shift
    • Ask if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
    • If possible, check their temperature with a contactless thermometer
    • Ask if any of the staff’s family members are sick
    • Ask if any worker who has returned from leave or travel has completed their required self-isolation period
    • Hold a daily meeting to keep staff up to date on COVID-19 issues
    • Notify staff if any menu items have changed due to ingredients being substituted, especially ones containing allergens
    • Ensure staff have a means to raise concerns
    • Plan for absence of sick staff

Disaster recovery

  • Design a comprehensive hazard prevention plan if a COVID-19 case is suspected in the workplace
    • Immediate notification to the relevant government department
    • Notification to staff
    • Notification to customers if required
    • Closure and cleaning of premises if required
    • Notification to suppliers if required
    • Storage or disposal of stock and Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHF) during closure. Preferably keep a log of fridge and freezer temperatures with an electronic temperature logger

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  • Ensure all staff are trained in:
    • Correct handwashing techniques and hand sanitiser use with a quality training product such as GlitterBug
    • COVID-19 laws and guidelines, including social distancing
  • Schedule regular training sessions with staff for hand washing, hand sanitising , social distancing measures and cleaning

Staff to staff protection

  • Streamline shifts to try and keep the same staff together
  • Allocate tools and equipment per person or small group
  • Minimise contact between home delivery staff and other staff

Staff to customer protection

  • Minimise direct contact with food
  • Use tongs and other standard food handling practices
  • No writing on coffee lids

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Customer to customer protection

  • Hand sanitiser available for customers
  • Minimise commonly touched items on customer’s tables (e.g. salt and pepper shakers, condiment bottles and laminated menus)
  • Clean tables, chairs and table items thoroughly between customers
  • Insist on contactless payment methods
  • Substitute re-usable items for single use items
  • Avoid reusable menus. Consider a menu board or online menu. Bulk print menus and dispose of after use
  • Minimise counter areas where customers can touch or lean. Ensure they are regularly cleaned.

Customer to staff protection

  • Remove or minimise direct contact with customers
  • Dedicated staff member handling cash and interacting with customers
  • Consider a Perspex barrier over the counter

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  • COVID-19 warnings and guidelines displayed around the premises
  • Social distancing signs in premises
  • Floor markings indicating physical distancing
  • Signage on pick up points

Reopening After Closure

  • Check all use-by dates
  • Ensure all Potentially Hazardous Foods were stored below 5°C. Potentially invest in an electronic temperature logger.
  • Intensive clean of all areas

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  • Clean all highly touched surfaces at least hourly and more often for high traffic items
  • Additional cleaning of doors, handrails, etc
  • Additional cleaning of toilets including doors, taps, hand driers
  • Ensure easy access to rubbish bins for customers (especially in food courts)
  • Provide appropriate gloves for cleaning
Hand Washing

Hand hygiene

  • Set strict rules staff for when to wash their hands including when starting or returning to work, before and after handling food, after handling cash, after cleaning.
  • Avoid the use of gloves as a substitute for hand washing. If gloves are worn, they must be changed as often as hand washing would have occurred
  • Make sanitiser available for customers as they enter the premises
  • Sufficient stock of soap and sanitisers for staff
  • Sufficient stock of soap and sanitisers for customers
  • Correct choice of sanitiser (≥ 70% alcohol)
  • Hand sanitiser is NOT used as soap at a sink
  • Sufficient stock of disposable towels
  • Sufficient stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff members
  • Contactless hand dryers in bathrooms
  • Consider contactless taps and soap dispensers

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Food Display

Food display

  • Food behind a barrier
  • Remove all self-serve options
  • All food is handled by staff using tongs where possible
  • Correct hand washing procedures if food is to be handled by staff directly
Home Delivery

Home delivery

  • Ensure delivery staff thoroughly wash their hands each time they enter the premises
  • Minimise contact with customers
  • Prepayment or credit card payment. Avoid contact with cash.
  • Hand sanitiser in vehicles to be used after each delivery

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  • Open doors and windows to increase air circulation
  • Ensure customers can enter and leave the premises without touching a door handle
  • Layout to allow for physical distancing between customers and staff
    • Customers can comply with social distancing requirements
    • Queues do not mix with walking areas
    • Customers can easily order and move away from the counter
  • Ensure social distancing in bathrooms, possibly by restricting to a single person at a time.
  • Create a pickup point for customer orders
  • Remove or clearly block off unavailable tables and seats



  • Require suppliers to ensure their delivery staff are healthy and do not have a temperature
  • Allocate an appropriate drop-off point for deliveries
  • Enforce physical distancing measures when deliveries are made


  • Confirm with suppliers that stock is readily available
  • When sourcing stock from alternative suppliers or changing brands:
    • Ensure that ingredients are checked for potential allergens
    • Ensure an MSDS is available for all chemicals, especially cleaning products
    • Train staff in the correct storage, use and disposal of new products
Young People

Young children

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect highchairs
  • Toys and play areas are either removed or cleaned very regularly
  • Only have items that can be disinfected

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