coronavirus in connecticut

App Helps Diner See COVID Precautions Being Taken at Restaurants

NBC Universal, Inc.

Restaurants across the state are working to get patrons back into their dining rooms. Now a new online platform is giving them a way to show off the steps they’re taking to be COVID-19 compliant and keep patrons safe.

The program is called DineSafe, and it will eventually offer patrons information about safety to help them decide where to make a reservation.

“We felt like if people heard or understood or could see what the restaurants are doing to keep their guests safe, that would go a long way to increase consumer confidence,” said Ryan O’Donnell, CEO of DineSafe.

Restaurants can sign up for the online platform, then they’ll receive daily COVID-19 compliance questions and send back proof of what they’re doing, from sanitizing to social distancing to installing dividers.

“We’re going to ask these restaurants to verify that they’re doing these three to five things and then to take pictures or provide video to show us evidence of all the work that they’re doing to keep guests safe,” O’Donnell explained.

Those photos and videos are put online and diners can see what precautions are in place and hopefully sit down at the table with confidence.

DinesSafe’s creators said they want to expand the platform to 1,000 restaurants in Connecticut and later other states with the belief that the need for this kind of information for diners will exist long after COVID-19 has cashed out.

“We think that consumers are going to be having a new focus on safety, that safety is going to be a new criteria that gets elevated to the level of décor and service and costs when guests are trying to decide where to dine out," said O’Donnell.

DineSafe’s creators said that by the end of February, their website will have a platform that allows diners to search for restaurants and check their certifications. Participating restaurants can also include their DineSafe certifications on their website.

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