Tag : OpsAnalitica COVID-19 Free Resources

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Employee & Customer Temperature Checks will Make Restaurants Safer but could also increase Discrimination Claim Risk

The FDA has stated that it would like restaurants to Pre-Screen Employees by taking their temperatures and asking them questions about their potential exposure to COVID-19. For more info check out our blog: The FDA Has Stated that you Should Take Employee Temperatures Before Their Shift

California has starting releasing guidance on new required procedures for restaurants when they re-open. Check out this LA Times Article.

In the article they call out 3 main things:

  • Taking customers temperatures
  • Waiters wearing gloves and masks
  • Disposable menus

Restaurants are going to have to be very careful on how they execute these temperature checks, both for employees and customers.

These restaurants are potentially going to be denying people what they want: a dining experience in the restaurant or a shift to make money based on a temperature reading and the persons answers to a couple of questions.

If the restaurants:

  • Do A poor job of communicating their process to their teams and their customers
  • Apply their process differently to different people
  • Decisions are different for different people when the data is the same

This could open them up to claims of discriminatory practices. You want and need to avoid even the appearance of unfairness at all costs because it could destroy your business.

Restaurants need to have a Employee & Customer Temperature Pre-Screen process that meets these standards:

  1. Fully Documented
  2. Impartial
  3. Applied Evenly
  4. Takes the responsibility of making the decision off of the manager/employee and puts it on a formula or the process.

OpsAnalitica has developed Pre-Screen Processes, one for Customers and the other for Employees, that guide your manager through the COVID-19 Temperature Pre-Screen. Our processes exceed the 4 standards above.

Watch a quick video to see them in action:

https://youtu.be/2v4skdwq1fo

I think it is unavoidable and incredibly unfortunate that some restaurant managers will use these processes to discriminate against employees and customers. Just as I think some customers and employees will claim discrimination when there was none. That is just the world we live in.

The one thing that I do know, is that a well-documented process that is executed fairly will provide the best protection for employees, customers, and restaurant operators.

If you would like to learn more about our COVID-19 processes, please imitate a chat in the bottom right hand corner of this screen.

Take-Out/Drive-Thru ScoreCard

I was speaking with a buddy of mine yesterday, he is a Franchise Business Consultant for a national burger chain. He mentioned to me that some of his franchisee’s don’t want him in the restaurants right now.

The franchisees don’t want their above store leaders in their restaurants because they don’t want to risk exposing their employees or restaurant to someone that is outside the team and whom could be sick.

I think this is absolutely the correct thing to do. An FBC or Area Manager that is visiting restaurants in their patch, at this time, is more of a liability than a resource. If the FBC/Area Manager is an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19, and they spread the virus to their restaurants through regular site visits, they could very publicly shut down their entire patch.

Click here to read my blog on the subject: Area Managers Should Stop Visiting Their Restaurants During the COVID-19 Crisis

Scorecard

In response to this dilemma that many FBC’s and Area Manager’s are facing right now, OpsAnalitica has developed our Take-Out/Drive-Thru Scorecard. This scorecard is a scored comprehensive review of the entire take-out/drive-thru experience:

  • Starts with how you ordered your food
  • Takes your thought the pick-up process
  • Paying for the meal
  • Looks at Sanitation standards and contactless interactions at the restaurant
  • Has you evaluate and rate the food

This scorecard can be used to identify issues in your take-out/drive-thru offering. Because it is scored it can be used to track progress over a period of time. Since take-out and drive-thru are our most important sales channels at this time, it is imperative that we are executing at a high level.

This scorecard is being added to our free COVID-19 resources, which you and your teams can use for Free through May, no strings attached. If you want to take advantage of these resources, just initiate a chat in the bottom right hand corner of this blog, and click on sales.

Should I Start Taking My Employees Temperatures?

Since the WHO and CDC have declared that we are in the midst of a COVID-19 Pandemic, the EEOC has allowed the taking of employee temperatures.

I recently was a panelist on a webinar hosted by the World Health Congress & The Validation Institute and I was able to discuss the taking of employee temperatures with Dr. Ian Lipkin, head of Epidemiology at Columbia University.

Dr. Lipkin stated that a person with COVID-19 might be asymptomatic so the taking of employee temps shouldn’t be the only thing you do or rely on. On the other hand, you may identify a person who has a fever who might not be aware of it. Overall, it is a worthwhile exercise.

It is so worthwhile that Burger King, McDonalds, and many other fast food restaurants are rapidly procuring thermometers to start this process.

A couple of things to consider:

  1. You should know why are you doing this?
    1. Is this to protect you from a potential future liability?
    2. Is this to stop a potentially sick employee from working today?
    3. Or Both?
  2. Where are you storing this data?
    1. Not planning on recording the temp, just checking as the employee enters the restaurant.
    2. In a Platform like OpsAnalitica.
    3. Keeping this written down on paper.
    4. How long are you planning on storing the data?
    5. This data must be kept confidential.
  3. You are allowed to ask questions about COVID-19 only, and I suggest that you do.
    1. You should definitely ask if the person has taken fever reducers in the last 24 hours.
    2. You should also ask specifically if an employee has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    3. You should ask the employee if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  4. Do you have a plan for what you are going to do if you identify a sick employee?
    1. You should document that you sent the employee home and what symptoms they were exhibiting.
    2. If a person is exhibiting symptoms today, they could have been contagious for up to a week. You should pull schedules for the last week.
    3. I would suggest that the person get a COVID-19 test and offer to pay for it if necessary.
  5. Where in your restaurant are you going to fill out this questionnaire and take their temperature?
    1. If the person has COVID-19 and they are on the line, what are the consequences of them being close to food?
    2. Doing this by the entrance door makes a lot of sense, it would be the easiest area to clean and sanitize?
  6. What kind of thermometer are you going to use?
    1. Make sure to disinfect it in between uses.
    2. Definitely use a forehead thermometer or ear. You don’t want to use an oral thermometer.
  7. Is the manager going to take the temperature or is the employee.
    1. Some thermometers are hard to take your own temperature.
    2. If a manager is going to be getting very close to an employee, they should wear a mask.
    3. Managers and employees should do their best to maintain social distancing protocols.
  8. What if an employee is coughing but doesn’t have a fever?
    1. Coughing and fever are the two main symptoms of COVID-19. I would recommend sending the employee home until their coughing stops.
  9. Do you have health insurance and Sick Leave?
    1. I believe you have to cover 14 days of sick pay for people who are diagnosed with COVID-19. You should confirm this in your state.
    2. Does your current sick leave policy create an incentive for employees to lie to you? If yes, you should correct that immediately.

We have created a health verification form to use for employees. It guides the manager through asking questions and taking temperatures. It is a part of our free COVID-19 resources.

If you are interested in learning more or taking advantage of these resources, please open a chat in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

To get some more information on the legal aspects of taking temperatures of employees you can check out these resources: