Delaware’s restaurant industry is ready to begin the road to economic recovery and welcome guests back into our dining rooms across the state. Use this page as a resource to find guidance on reopening, labor/staffing questions, public health guidelines and regulations from Governor Carney and the reopening Task Force.

Restaurant Industry Graphics

New DRA industry info-graphics… please share!
We designed these images/graphics to promote consumer confidence – clearing up any misconceptions or wrong information about Delaware restaurants/bars, and urging guests to continue supporting local restaurants while adhering to safety guidelines (we know many of you have struggled
with guests not wearing masks, and not adhering to guidelines). 

Please share on your favorite social media outlet, and using the hashtags:
#MaskUpDE   #DErestaurants   #ServingSafely

The DRA Restaurant Recovery Reopening Toolkit

This comprehensive, all-in-one document includes operator information
and guidance from all state agencies, plus a master checklist of critical steps
needed to take before restaurant reopening can occur.

Phase 2 Toolkit

Phase 2 begins June 15th – restaurants may now operate at 60% of total capacity.
Click here to download.

Complete Phase 2 Reopening Guidelines here, or by industry at Division of Small business website. Division of Public Health guidelines available here. DPH Compliance Checklist (used by food safety inspection officers) can be found here – this document can also help restaurants devise their “restaurant plan” for reopening if used as a checklist for action items under Phase 2 Guidelines.

Please note the following changes for restaurants under the Phase 2 Guidelines:

  • Capacity restriction (indoors) will now be 60%
  • People from different households may now be seated together (with proper distance)
  • Reservations not required if restaurants can assure no gathering takes place while waiting to be seated
  • Bar service and seating at a bar may reopen as long as proper social distancing is observed between those not of the same household.

For Banquets & Catering:

  • Hosts of indoor gatherings must calculate useable capacity at thirty (30) square feet per person up to a maximum of 250 people. Attendees must social distance from those not part of their household. For gatherings of more than 250 people, approval is needed by the Division of Small Business.
  • Self-service food and buffet options may only reopen if the facility assigns dedicated staff to distribute food, and any customers at buffet are socially distanced from others who are not of the same household. No customer at any time should touch serving utensils, and staff members should be dedicated to a particular serving utensil or utensils so that multiple staff are not touching the same utensils.

Phase 1 Toolkit – Beginning June 1st

The Delaware Restaurant Promise

To ensure everyone’s safety as we welcome the public back into our dining spaces, we ask that restaurants and guests promise to abide by these defined safety & protection standards. This contract of protection standards will give our guests the confidence to return to restaurants, providing piece of mind that all safety measures and precautions are being taken during the Phase 1 Reopening. We encourage all restaurants to post the Promise at the entryway/front window of their establishments.

Click the pictures below to view and download the DE Restaurant Promise.

Click here for Delaware Restaurant Promise Logo (available for download).

Phase 1 – Delaware Restaurant Reopening Guidelines

In Friday’s press conference, Governor Carney announced the Reopening Guidelines for Delaware Restaurants and other businesses included in the Phase 1 reopenings. Phase 1 is targeted to begin on June 1st. Please note the following guidance for individuals, businesses, and specifically food and drink establishments. Click to learn more or view full guidebook here.

Click here to view the full press release or view the full Reopening Guidebook here (restaurants and foodservice on page 16)

Additional Guidance for Restaurants

ServSafe Reopening Guidance: COVID-19 Precautions. Free online training by the The National Restaurant Association outlining the steps restaurant employees are encouraged to utilize in returning to full-service operations. Video topics include:

  • Knowing COVID-19 symptoms and preventing its spread
  • Recognizing actions to reduce risk to employees and guests
  • Guidelines for face coverings, hand washing, and food handling
  • Guidelines for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting
  • Physical and operational changes to maintain social distancing

The National Restaurant Association has also recently published COVID-19 Reopening Guidance: A Guide for the Restaurant Industry. This is a free download available to all members.

Additional guidance has also been published from the FDA, providing best practices for reopening food establishments. Click here for more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a business do if an employee suspects they may have come in contact with Coronavirus, or have tested positive? Should I notify all other employees? Does my business need to close? Here are answers to these and many more frequently asked questison.