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On Friday, Chick-fil-A announced an updated set of “Safe Service” standards for when dining rooms reopen and carryout service resumes, including new protocol for both customers and employees at the fast-food joints.
“’Safe Service’ is our unwavering commitment to safety and the highest operating standards to protect the health and well-being of our Guests and Team Members,” reads a message shared to Chick-fil-A’s media site. “Our Food Safety and Customer Experience teams are working with local franchise Operators to ensure safety measures not only protect Guests and restaurant teams, but also uphold the restaurant experience guests have come to know and expect from Chick-fil-A.”
Chick-fil-A said guests will notice a number of changes as soon as they enter their local restaurant, starting with decals and signs indicating where to stand. An employee may also be stationed at the door to help manage the flow of customers, according to the Safe Service guidelines. At the register, plexiglass shields will separate workers from the guests, who will also be encouraged to use contactless forms of ordering and payment, such as the Chick-fil-A app.
Self-service stations within the restaurants, such as those that offer condiments and soft drinks, will temporarily be unavailable. Instead, orders will come with condiments, napkins and utensils in to-go bags only. The chain is also temporarily suspending all drink refills.
Customers that choose to remain in the restaurant for dine-in service will need to adhere to social-distancing policies at their tables; Chick-fil-A’s guidelines indicate that some tables may be blocked off entirely to help patrons maintain appropriate physical distance. Certain locations may also be offering “table-cleaning stations,” allowing guests to wipe down their own tables for extra peace of mind.
Unfortunately for the youngest customers, playgrounds will remain closed.
In addition to new protocol in the dining area, Chick-fil-A’s employees will be required to undergo temperature checks and a “health assessment” upon arriving for work. Workers will also be wearing face masks and gloves, and are required to wash their uniforms and face masks before each use.
Staff members are already required to wash their hands every half hour, or after handling money or switching gloves. Upon the reopening of dining areas, they are now being instructed to disinfect high-touch areas of the kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms every half hour.
Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, did not give any timeline for the reopening of its dining rooms, but rather that they will open “on different timelines” in accordance with local regulations, and only after meeting the “Safe Service” standards.
Chick-fil-A's latest Safe Service update expands on previous efforts introduced amid the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, the chain had installed outdoor handwashing stations for its employees working outside at the drive-thru line. Chick-fil-A had also been asking customers to swipe their own credit cards, rather than hand them over to the employees.