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Contact Tracing for Restaurants

Keep your community happy and healthy by doing contact tracing for your restaurant. Next In Line is a waitlist management & contact tracing program designed with the future in mind. Sign up today to gain access to all of our features absolutely free.

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Navigating around COVID-19 regulations is no easy task. With constantly changing rules regarding restaurant capacities and contact tracing it’s become a lot harder to run your restaurant than before. Contact tracing is one more way in which business owners can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
In this article, we’re going to go through what exactly contact tracing is, its benefits, its limitations, and what to do if someone tests positive.

Quick FAQ

Do restaurants have to do contact tracing?
This depends on the guidelines set by your local health authority. However, more and more restaurants have begun contact tracing measures as an effort to keep their community happy and healthy.
Province/State
Need to contact trace?
Days to destroy information?
British Columbia
No but existing COVID-19 measures should be kept (plastic barriers, directional signage, etc.)
No longer required but previously was every 30 days.
Ontario
Yes, a variety of businesses are required to collect contact information for all patrons. This includes event spaces, food establishments, teaching facilities, etc.
The information must be kept for 30 days and then shredded. The information must also be provided to Toronto Public Health upon their request.
Manitoba
Restaurant owners must ensure that contact information is obtained from all patrons.
The information must be kept for 21 days, after which it must be destroyed.
California
Recommended to keep contact information and exposure period on hand if a case is reported at your business. 
None specified but those exposed to infected individuals should be notified within 1 day.
New York
One member of each party entering a food establishment must provide their full name, address and phone number or email address for use in contact tracing.
The information should be maintained for a minimum of 28 days and make the data available to local health authorities when requested.
Where can I find a contact tracing log template?
You can download and print out a free contact tracing sheet at the link above. You can also sign up for an account with Next In Line to start using our online waitlist app and contact tracing features for free.
Do customers have to sign my contact tracing sign in sheet?
Unless otherwise stated by your local health authority, business owners should compel customers to sign their contact tracing sheet. Reassure customers that the information is kept confidential and that it will only be used for contact tracing purposes. 
What business can I use Next In Line with?
We designed Next In Line to be an extremely flexible waitlist application. If you find that your business has long queues of tired customers and would like to free up that space, then you could definitely use Next In Line. As a restaurant waitlist app, customers can be texted to be notified that they're ready to be seated, or that their order is ready to be picked up.
Require Waiver
Enabled
Require customers to agree to business items of service before being added

I have not been asked to self-isolate.

I do not display symptoms of COVID-19.

I agree to where a mask at all times while visiting.

Reply ‘yes’ if you agree.

Why Contact Tracing is
Essential for Restaurants

A surprising amount of local COVID cases are attributed to restaurant employees or those who dine in at restaurants. In British Columbia for example, hundreds of COVID-19 cases were linked to restaurants, bars and lounges. While existing measures such as curbside pickup and spaced seating have helped curb some COVID-19 cases, contact tracing remains as important as ever as it can help notify and isolate infected individuals.

As restaurants remain as one of the most popular places for social gatherings, it’s important that restaurant owners do their part to keep their communities safe. By implementing contact tracing measures, you’ll be doing both you and your community a valuable service.

Tools for Contact Tracing

A surprising amount of local COVID cases are attributed to restaurant employees or those who dine in at restaurants. In British Columbia for example, hundreds of COVID-19 cases were linked to restaurants, bars and lounges. While existing measures such as curbside pickup and spaced seating have helped curb some COVID-19 cases, contact tracing remains as important as ever as it can help notify and isolate infected individuals.

As restaurants remain as one of the most popular places for social gatherings, it’s important that restaurant owners do their part to keep their communities safe. By implementing contact tracing measures, you’ll be doing both you and your community a valuable service.

Download our free contact tracing form template here:

While physical contact tracing logs may seem like the simplest solution, it’s also not the most secure one. There are various privacy regulations you must follow when collecting information for contact tracing. Storing the information in a safe place and having it destroyed regularly is an important part of contact tracing. B.C.'s privacy commissioner has stated that it's best to store this information digitally as, “If it’s put on a computer database, then there’s proper passwords and it is protected”. Never leave contact tracing logs unattended and be sure to destroy the logs every 20-30 days, depending on health authority guidelines

While physical contact tracing logs may seem like the simplest solution, it’s also not the most secure one. There are various privacy regulations you must follow when collecting information for contact tracing. Storing the information in a safe place and having it destroyed regularly is an important part of contact tracing. B.C.'s privacy commissioner has stated that it's best to store this information digitally as, “If it’s put on a computer database, then there’s proper passwords and it is protected”. Never leave contact tracing logs unattended and be sure to destroy the logs every 20-30 days, depending on health authority guidelines

Delete customer data
Enabled
All uniquly identifiable customers data will be removed
30

Next In Line will automatically delete customer data for you. You can enable or disable this feature and even set how often this should occur.

On top of storing contact tracing logs, Next In Line’s waitlist features can help your restaurants stay within capacity regulations. Our capacity counters are one of many of our contact tracing features that come free with any Next In Line account.

easy management

Next In Line’s capacity counters will help you stay within health guidelines and never be overwhelmed

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Benefits of contact tracing in the workplace

Now that you know what contact tracing is and how to do it, it's best to learn about how it can benefit both you and your community.

Reducing workplace transmissions

Based on a study conducted by Kretzschmar et al. efficient contact tracing measures can prevent up to 80% of potential cases. By keeping accurate contact tracing logs and working with your local health authority, you could be making a huge impact on your community's caseloads.

Assisting in local reopening plans

When the pandemic first began and lockdowns had shut down nearly all businesses, everybody was devastated. Implementing contact tracing measures is one of the key ways business owners can assist in the reopening of their communities.

Fostering a safe and healthy work environment

A workplace can sometimes be more than just a workplace to employees. By putting in the effort to show your employees that you care about their health, you’ll not only be making them feel safe at work, but also be gaining their respect and admiration. The same can be said for your customers, who will definitely recognize the effort that you are putting in to foster a safer business environment.

Next In Line is Here to Help

The Next In Line waitlist app for restaurants was designed to keep you open. Combined with contact tracing tools you’ll be able to welcome your guests back in a safe and easy manner. With our waitlist app, you’ll be able to save both you and your team more than just time
book
Contact tracing logs
Keep contact tracing recordsdigitally as required
waiver
Pre-screen waiver
Require customers to reply ‘yes’ to your custom waiver
counter
Capacity counter
Quickly count how many are in service
On all screens
On all screens
Access your waitlist from any browser, on any device.
functionality
On/Off Functionality
Busy? Turn on the waitlist. Toggle it off during slow times.
Send the right message
Send the right message
Save time with automatic message and pre-screening questionnaires.
Learn more about Contacting Tracing App

Conclusion

Hopefully, this contact tracing primer will help you in running your business in these unprecedented times. Keep in mind that for the most recent news on COVID-19 guidelines, you should always refer to your local health authority.

While contact tracing may seem daunting at first, it all becomes easier with some time, and the right help. Next In Line is the easiest waitlist management solution out there and we want to help you get a head start on keeping your community happy and healthy.

Whether you’re set on a physical contact tracing log or are deciding on upgrading to our software, getting started on contact tracing is an amazing first step. You can download our contact tracing log template and sign up for Next In Line below.

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