Editor’s note: This information hub was last updated on August 28, 2020.
Restaurants are exploring how to best reestablish their dine-in service as new protocols and precautionary measures are being introduced to keep both restaurant staff and patrons safe.
We’ve compiled some of the best reopening resources we’ve found for restaurants, including the NRA’s food safety tips, Yelp strategies and tools for marketing and operations, and interviews with restaurant industry experts on the Full Comp podcast.
As the reopening regulations continue to evolve, we encourage you to learn and strictly follow all local, county, and state regulations and laws that apply to reopening and operations, as well as guidance from trusted organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Restaurant Association (NRA). Be sure to also keep your website and Yelp page up to date for your customers as you adapt to industry changes.
If you have questions or if there is anything we can do to help, get in touch by logging into your Yelp for Business account for Yelp contact details. Our customer success and account teams are fully staffed and ready to assist.
We also published a similar version of this post for all business types.
- The CDC released a guide for restaurants and bars including the reopening decision tool.
- Oyster Sunday’s comprehensive critical path outlines the key foundational tasks required to help restaurants and bars navigate the process of reopening their doors, including a task checklist to help you stay on track within each operational facet of your business (vendors, technology contracts, external marketing, etc.)
- The National Restaurant Association (NRA) provides their own reopening guidance, including food safety tips and hygiene resources and downloads.
- The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA®) published reopening guidance for bars and restaurants.
- Death & Co, a renown nightlife establishment in New York, debuted their approach, strategy, and response to COVID-19, a detailed 62-page reopening playbook.
- Hong Kong restaurant group Black Sheep Restaurants released a COVID-19 Playbook, which has been adopted worldwide and contains an array of guidance from hygiene to guest relations.
- ThinkFoodGroup, the company behind José Andrés’ restaurants, released their reopening playbook.
- The Momofuku Group has restaurants from Las Vegas to Sydney, and their handbook is a live document—being continuously updated as new regulations and guidelines develop.
General business resources
- The CDC continues to release general and industry-specific guidance regarding the reopening of businesses:
- Financial support is still available and new opportunities continue to surface for small businesses as shared by the Small Business Association (SBA):
- This mythbusters series from the World Health Organization (WHO) helps dispel false claims about COVID-19.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released preparation material with Ready to Reopen: A Playbook for Your Small Business. They also frequently update the State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance (Coast also has a guide to coverage by state).
- P&G Professional hosts a number of guides to help maintain cleanliness and sanitation in the workplace:
- Many companies are offering free tools, tips, and resources—from online business services to cybersecurity—which we’ve collected to help get them into the hands of the businesses that need them.
Tips and tools from the Yelp blog
Marketing, strategy, and social media
- Read about how you can manage and maintain your marketing/advertising strategies and budgets during the downturn.
- With online activity booming, it’s important to build and maintain your social media strategy.
- As the economic landscape slowly moves toward the “new normal,” try these marketing and operational tips and strategies to help ease the transition.
- From diner trends to restaurant operations and insights—we dove a little deeper into our own data to paint a bigger picture around what comes next for reopening and dining expectations.
Operations and communication
- Entrepreneur and restaurateur Josh Kopel explains his five-step restaurant guide to surviving a pandemic.
- With distancing measures required for reopening, these tips will help you provide low-contact service.
- Be sure you are keeping the communication lines open with your staff.
- Maintaining your online presence is crucial now and for the long haul—consider hosting a virtual cooking class.
- Consider moving forward by working backward with this three-step process, using financial modeling that can help create a more sustainable path ahead.
- P&G Professional shares the importance of cleaning protocols during COVID-19 as well as the clear communication of those actions.
- To help these service industry workers get back on their feet and dig out of their financial setbacks, many businesses, owners, and management teams are creating virtual tip jars—a setup that is both easy and impactful.
- Get an inside look at how tea shop Boba Guys regrouped after initially closing all 16 shops, reopening slowly in select locations with a special seven-step process.
- See how restaurants have been getting creative with off-premise dining, virtual offerings, and online customer interactions.
- Check out the inspirational and innovative ways restaurants are pivoting in response to the Coronavirus.
- Businesses are helping their communities in a number of uplifting ways, creating bright spots amid this pandemic.
Behind the business
- OC Wine Mart is not your average liquor store—normally housing a wine bar, hot food, and live music. But during COVID-19, owner Julie Lam has adapted and changed the form of her once-bustling community gathering place to survive the pandemic.
- Two restaurateurs are shifting operations in response to the Coronavirus: an intimate sushi haven from first-time restaurateurs, pivoting to takeout and delivery only + a once-bustling urban cafe that has closed its doors (for now) to focus on the future.
- Hope Green of Emoji’s Grilled Cheese explains how her entrepreneurial spirit has carried Emojis through the last few months and how her business has pivoted.
- Savor Seattle shifted from walking food tours to coordinating and creating pantry boxes that help connect Pike Place vendors with the community.
- We sat down with two restaurateurs who adopted two different dining concepts in response to COVID-19 to discuss what the future of dining looks like, especially when it comes to technology, trends, and transparency.
Helpful Yelp products
- Update these seven places on your Yelp Business Page to communicate important information, help you complete your profile, and appear more frequently in searches—this includes adding a digital menu to your Yelp Page and updating your COVID-19 banner (plus some creative examples).
- There are several new page features to communicate business changes during COVID-19. These Coronavirus-specific options are available to help communication with customers during the pandemic.
- Takeout is here to stay, even for restaurants not previously operating that way. Yelp Waitlist has helped restaurants structure and organize their takeout service.
- See how to reopen with Yelp Reservations or Yelp Waitlist after the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in your area.
- Businesses are using Yelp Connect to share updates in response to the Coronavirus.
- Explore this how-to guide for setting up Call to Action, Business Highlights, and Yelp Connect.
- Restaurants are utilizing Yelp Waitlist and Reservations to help with contact tracing.
Yelp University video series
This YouTube playlist contains a series of short videos to help you update different parts of your Yelp Business Page.
- Updating your special hours
- Marking your business as temporarily closed
- Updating your takeout and delivery status
- Sharing business updates with Yelp Connect
- Providing a call to action to your customers
- Adding Business Highlights to your page
Josh Kopel’s Full Comp podcast
Episode 1: Restaurateur Erik Oberholtzer reflects on his challenging experience opening Tender Greens shortly before the 2008 recession, offering advice and suggestions for restaurants wondering what to do during this unprecedented time.
Episode 2: Darin Rubell is a 20-year veteran of the Manhattan restaurant and bar scene. Listen to him chat with Josh about how he got started in the industry, what he’s learned, and what makes his restaurants and bars stand out.
Episodes 3 & 4: Former Iron Chef Eric Greenspan and cocktail culture legend Alex Day of Death & Co discuss the creative drive that fuels their endeavors in the hospitality industry.
Episode 14: James Beard Award-winning chef Nina Compton discusses the opportunity restaurateurs in New Orleans have to come together as a community, share their struggles, and contribute to the rebirth of the restaurant industry.
Episode 22: Mark Canlis, owner/operator of Seattle’s Michelin-starred fine dining establishment that bears his name, talks about what it took to pivot away from the restaurant’s traditional business model and toward a new way of working.
Episode 26: Dean Alex Susskind of Cornell University talks about the future of restaurants, including the evolving role of technology in the dining experience and how tech should never be a replacement for human interaction and customer service.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.