Search Knowledge Base by Keyword

TEMPLATE Coronavirus Self-Inspection Checklist for Reopening Restaurants

< All Topics

Thank you for doing your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Washington state is using a phased approach to reopen food establishment onsite dining closed by the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Once a county is approved to enter Phase 2, food establishments can reopen onsite dining if they meet the Governor’s Phase 2/Phase 3 Dine-In RequirementsThis checklist has been updated as of July 31, 2020 to include requirements for Phase 2 and Phase 3 restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries. Food establishments that closed the kitchen and/or dining area should use the following checklist when reopening during Phase 2:   

Equipment and Physical Structure   

  • Make sure utilities are working (electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation/air conditioning, fire suppression).   
  • Flush water system and all plumbed food equipment for a minimum of 5 minutes. Refer to this guidance for information on cleaning and flushing instructions for specific equipment. After flushing, make sure all floor drains are working properly.   
  • Check grease traps and clean if necessary.   
  • Verify hot and cold water is available at all sinks.   
  • Ice makers should be fully emptied, pipes drained, and the equipment washed, rinsed, and sanitized.   
  • Assess and discard food that is no longer safe.   
  • Check that all equipment is functioning properly and maintaining proper temperatures:   
  • Refrigeration equipment is at or below 41°F.   
  • Low temperature chemical sanitizing machines provide correct water temperature and sanitizer concentration.   
  • High temperature (hot water) sanitizing machines provide correct wash and final rinse temperatures and final rinse pressure.   
  • Wash, rinse and sanitize all food contact surfaces.   
  • Clean non-food contact surfaces as needed.   
  • Restart services you may have discontinued (pest control services, trash and recycling services).    
  • Survey your establishment for signs of pest infestation and correct before opening.   
  • Thoroughly clean and inspect all physical facilities including floors, walls, and ceilings.   

Employee Training, Health, and Safety   

  • Develop employee illness policies and procedures.   
  • Train workers in the language they understand best on:   
  • Employee health and safety including the symptoms of COVID-19, how to prevent transmission, required hand hygiene, and illness reporting requirements.   
  • Proper cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection procedures.   
  • The written procedures including physical distancing and change of service requirements.   
  • In addition to employee health requirements in the Food Code, a site-specific COVID-19 Supervisor shall be designated by the employer at each job site to monitor the health of employees and enforce the COVID-19 job site safety plan. 
  • This supervisor should monitor employee status for COVID-19 symptoms prior to each shift and enforce the COVID-19 specific written procedures.   
  • Screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms prior to each shift by following the Daily COVID-19 Screening of Staff and Visitors guidance.   
  • Employers should follow the Employee Health & Decision Strategies guidance to determine when food workers should stay home, self-quarantine, and return to work.   

Employee Training, Health, and Safety – continued   

  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate or required for the activity performed.   
  • Provide disposable gloves where safe and applicable to prevent transmission on tools or shared items.   
  • Ensure handwashing sinks are stocked with soap and paper towels and hand sanitizers are available.   
  • Ensure 6 feet of distance between employees in both back and front of house.   
  • Plan other prevention measures when strict physical distancing is not feasible, such as using barriers, minimizing staff or customers in narrow or enclosed areas, and staggering breaks and work shift starts.   
  • Require cloth facial coverings for employees. This is not a substitute for 6foot social distancing.   
  • Stagger work schedules as much as possible to reduce employee contact with each other.   
  • Establish a schedule that includes frequent cleaning and disinfection of high touch areas.   

Customer Protections   

  • Develop written procedures to meet service modifications and physical distancing requirements.   
  • For taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries, no indoor service is permitted until Phase 4 unless certain food service is provided. Guest occupancy is limited to 50% capacity.   
  • All sales, service, delivery and consumption of alcohol, including beer, wine and spirits must end at 10 p.m. until Phase 4.
  • Limit capacity to 50% the maximum building occupancy and ensure all dining parties and tables are 5 guests or less. Outdoor seating does not count toward inside occupancy, but may not exceed 50%.   
  • For outdoor seating, a temporary structure may be used.  Outdoor structures (temporary or permanent) should have no more than two walls (both rigid and flexible) for appropriate ventilation  
  • All parties must be five guests or less and indoor dining is limited to members of the same household. 
  • Customers must wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated (while being seated or leaving, or while going to the restroom) and while they are talking at tables and not eating.  
  • Standing is prohibiting in any area of the establishment, except for the lobby/waiting area and then must be done while maintaining six feet of distance between patrons. 
  • All live entertainment is prohibited except performances outdoors for members of the same household where social distancing of a minimum of 10 feet is always maintained from the entertainer and facial coverings are worn by all individuals. 
  • Provide hand sanitizer at all entrances for staff and guests (assuming supply availability).   
  • Implement a plan and mark the floor to maintain 6 feet of distance between customers in the lobby, waiting area, serving or ordering lines, beverage/condiment stations, food pick-up stations, and payment areas (including indoor and outdoor lines).   
  • Keep a log of all guests who voluntarily provide contact information, including customer names, phone, email, and time they entered/dined at the facility. Maintain the log for 30 days to help with contact tracing.   
  • Post signage (entrance & interior) requiring guests wear cloth face coverings when arriving, leaving, or visiting the restroom.   
  • Place tables far enough apart so each occupied chair is a minimum of 6 feet away from guests at adjacent tables. If 6 feet is not feasible, there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables.   
  • Vending and other game areas, including billiards, darts, and video games, are prohibited until Phase 4. 
  • Bar-area seating is prohibited in all phases. Counter-style seating is permitted in other areas. 
  • Bars must close indoor service. A bar is defined by anyone holding a tavern license, winery license, brewery license or distillery license. Note: If a brewery or winery also has a restaurant license, it may continue restaurant operations pursuant to the safety requirements for restaurants. 
  • Indoor dining is limited to members of the same household until Phase 4. 
  • Self-service buffets and salad bars are permitted, providing they follow official guidelines.  
  • Minimize the number of staff serving a table; consider one staff person taking a table’s order, serving beverages/food/utensils, taking payment, etc.   
  • Single use menus or reusable menus that are sanitized after each use are required. 
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces following routine procedures.   
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched non-food contact surfaces every hour using an EPA registered product effective against COVID-19. Follow label directions.   
  • Condiments (ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) must be single use or disinfected after each dining group.   
  • Clean and disinfect dining area touchpoints, such as chair backs, condiments, and touchpads after each dining group.   
  • Maximize pick-up or delivery services.   


Name of Facility           Address               Person in Charge                               Date   


To request this document in another format, call 1-800-525-0127. Deaf or hard of hearing customers, please call 711 (Washington Relay) or email