Selecting the Right Sneeze Guard for Your Restaurant

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Six feet of social distance is the new norm amongst people. However, there are a multitude of scenarios in the food service industry that make distancing less than possible. COVID-19 has made safety measures anything but the status quo, and now that the country’s restaurants and pizzerias are moving through various phases of reopening and indoor dining, restaurateurs are searching for ways to make food ordering and customer flow as safe as possible. Enter, sneeze guards and shields.

Serve Yourself Situations

While some restaurants may be hesitant to rush out the all-you-can-eat buffets quite yet, thanks to Johnny Garneau, the sneeze guard was invented for spaces where we may have to hover over food. Who is Mr. Garneau, you ask? He was a restaurateur-inventor-germaphobe who patented the “Food Service Table,” in 1959, nowadays known as the sneeze guard. Smithsonian Magazine shares that sneeze guards or food shields were required by the FDA in the early 1960s. The most current law is the 2013 Food Code, which states that “Food on display shall be protected from contamination by the use of packaging, counter, service or salad bar food guards, display cases or other effective means.” So, if you’re serving any sort of choose your own slice of pizza, grab-and-go container or even a buffet, the sneeze guard is of more importance than ever before. 

While coverage and dimensions of sneeze guards for retail food establishments vary from state to state, National Food Shield Requirement Criteria has outlined fundamentals points and general requirements for food shields. 

Face-to-Face Interactions

Table for two? You may be thinking about shielding customers sitting across from one another, thanks to the new normal of indoor dining. We’ve got face masks, hand sanitizers and Lysol to protect our faces and surfaces, but in transactional situations where six feet is impossible to distance, shields can be put up to help. Health.com reports that permanent and personal sneeze guards are becoming a staple in places like take-out restaurants. Google recorded an astounding 200% increase in search for sneeze guards, and shields are great for situations like takeaway, cash exchange counters or even when dining in person. 

Unsure about if getting a sneeze guard or shield is appropriate for your food service establishment? The Centers for Disease Control has outlined some great suggestions for employees, customers and communities to help slow the spread of COVID. Restaurants and bars can determine supplementation level, however it’s important to recognize state, local and territorial laws first. Guiding principles that the CDC published depend on COVID risk in restaurant or bar settings:

  • Lowest Risk: Food service limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick up.
  • More Risk: Drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick up emphasized. On-site dining limited to outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • Even More Risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • Highest Risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity not reduced and tables not spaced at least 6 feet apart.

Additionally, sneeze guards and partitions, according to the CDC, should be put up “in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least six fee apart.” Restaurant kitchens, cash registers, hostess stands and food pickup areas are hotbed areas and great places to install shields to help keep everyone safer. 

The Future of Shields is Now

LloydPans’ Guards and Shields are nothing to sneeze at. They’re an effective solution for protection against COVID-19, among other communicable diseases. Pizzerias, restaurants, retail POP and customer service counters are all suitable places for these three standard configurations: 

  • Booth Guards SAN-C
    Standard shield has black powder-coated steel feet with fastening holes for mounting.
  • Self-Standing Guard With Pass-Thru SAN-D
    Sanitary shield with 17 Inch opening for customer interaction.
    Entirely made from acrylic, and is easily assembled and disassembled.
  • Modular Guard With 16 Inch Wings SAN-A
    Three-piece shield that can be configured for size and shape.
    Features extruded aluminum framing with nylon connectors, stainless hinges and fasteners, and rubber feet.

    We’re also the custom design experts. Restaurants across the country are coming up with some unique configurations, including face shields at the tables themselves and personal enclosures.

Need a custom design? Contact us for more information and quotes: https://lloydpans.com/sneeze-guards-shields.html.

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