June 24, 2020

Wondering which reopening regulations apply and where? The Association tracks them for you.

If you’re a chain operator with restaurants across the U.S., a regional player with operations in a few states or a couple of counties, or even an independent operator with one unit, keeping up with state and local reopening regulations can get tricky. Those regulations not only differ state to state, they can change frequently as new reopening phases come into play.

The National Restaurant Association has a series of resources to help all restaurant operators keep up with what’s required. You can find them here on and on RestaurantsAct.

Official Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments is a comprehensive compilation from the team at the Association’s Restaurant Law Center. It tracks official orders from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and details them in categories including:

  • Dine in (permitted or not)
  • Employee PPE/health check recommendations/requirements
  • Customer PPE recommendations/requirements
  • Sanitation requirements
  • Occupancy limits
  • Changes to payment processes
  • Local exceptions

The team updates this document regularly, as it finds and incorporates more state reopening guidelines.

State Reopening Training & Certification Requirements/Recommendations, a document compiled by the ServSafe Training & Certification Compliance team, covers all food safety training and certification requirements for restaurant managers and food handlers as each state enters new reopening phases. It also covers any state food-protection manager and food-handler certificate expiration extensions and required recertification deadlines. It’s updated every Tuesday and Thursday.

City & County Face Covering Mandates includes where and what kind of masks are required and by whom, and when employee health screenings are required. The National Restaurant Association is updating this list of requirements and recommendations in real time as information comes in.

Expansion of Restaurant Off-Premises Alcohol Sales. During COVID-19, many state and local governments expanded the ability for restaurants to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption (for takeout and delivery). As the regulations are extended, the Association tracks them in this handy Excel-format resource. Columns headers by state tell you whether it is allowed with…

  • Restaurant delivery (food order only)
  • Third-party delivery
  • Beer and wine allowed only
  • Container requirements
  • Permissions that are temporary or permanent

…along with links to source documents outlining details.

Keep checking for a comprehensive array of restaurant operator information, updates and resources related to operation during the coronavirus pandemic.