Recovery Planning May 13th, 2020

Sector Support: Guidance for Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs, and Bars


As companies across Alberta prepare to reopen their businesses safely, the Government of Alberta launched Alberta Biz Connect, a site the aggregates the supports being offered by the provincial government, as well as quick access to guidance on how to develop safe, comprehensive policies and practices to reopen businesses and adhere to the new operating guidelines.

In addition to the general guidelines for business owners, the Government of Alberta has put together specific guidance for restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars.

Dining Areas

  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars must operate at no more than 50% seating capacity. Outdoor patio seating areas must also be at 50% capacity or less.
  • Arrange tables and chairs so that a 2-metre distance is maintained between each dining party.
  • Aisles should be wide enough to allow room for people to maintain physical distancing. Consider using one-way traffic flow help maintain distancing.
  • Physical barriers should be installed where tables cannot be adequately separated. For example, heighten barriers between adjoined booths.
  • Businesses should facilitate ways to prevent infection transmission, such as:
    • The use of dividers between booths or tables,
    • Setting limits on the number of patrons per table, based on size. A maximum number of patrons sitting together at larger tables should be 6.
    • Removing chairs.
  • Remove table condiments and other frequently touched items (for example, salt and pepper shakers, ketchup, hot sauce).
  • Consider keeping music to a low volume to help customers avoid leaning in to hear each another.

Entry and Waiting Areas

  • Control access to the dining area, by asking guests to wait to be seated.
  • Ensure that customers have space to maintain physical distancing in waiting areas.
  • Encourage table reservations to prevent lineups.
  • Where possible, ask guests to wait outside until their table is ready, and use technology to provide notice that a table is ready.
  • Encourage guests to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content when entering and leaving.


  • To maintain awareness, post COVID-19 signage throughout the facility.
  • Washroom capacity must allow for distancing between guests. For example, consider closing alternate urinals.
  • Thoroughly sanitize each table after customers leave.
  • Washroom sanitation and supervision should be enhanced.
  • Staff should perform hand hygiene frequently.


  • All dining must be table service only.
  • Wait staff and servers who cannot be protected by 2 metres of distance or a physical barrier must wear a cloth or surgical mask.
  • Digital ordering devices, check presenters and other common touch areas must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after use.
  • Where reusable menus are used, thoroughly clean and sanitize between clients. Paper menus must be discarded after use.
  • Use rolled silverware and do not preset tables. The person performing this task must follow hand hygiene practices.
  • There can be no buffet service or self-service.
  • Guests dining inside the restaurant must order food and drinks from the table.
  • Continue to follow existing occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements

Quick Service and Take Out

  • Demarcate floors with physical distancing markers in areas where line-ups occur. Keep line-ups away from dining areas.
  • Provide signage and guidance to guests regarding ordering and mobile orders.


  • Facilities are open for dining, delivery and take out only. Recreational activities within bars, cafes, or pubs are not allowed at this time. This includes dancing on dance floors, VLT play, billiards, pool tables, karaoke, shisha, hookah and water pipes, and other activities.

Download the full guide

Posted By

WB Central
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