National Restaurant Association offering conflict-resolution courses on face mask feuds for foodservice workers
Restaurants were not made for fighting.
In recent months, there have been several incidents involving restaurant workers and customers who are angry over certain regulations that have been added since the coronavirus pandemic struck. Now, in an effort to protect employees, restaurants have been provided with training specifically designed to deescalate these situations.
The National Restaurant Association released a series of training videos through its ServSafe brand. These courses are designed specifically to handle customers who are upset by COVID-19 requirements.
On its website, ServSafe writes, “For 30 years, ServSafe has been at the forefront of preparing restaurant and foodservice workers to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests, while also keeping themselves safe. Because of the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have developed a number of free resources aimed at keeping our workers and the dining public safe.”
The course includes lessons on preparing for incidents, remaining aware, signs of escalation, how to stay calm, de-escalation techniques, how to assist others and when it’s time to get help.
Face mask requirements have seemingly sparked anger in some customers and multiple incidents have been reported in recent months due to someone either refusing to wear a mask, or becoming angry when they are informed they must wear a mask.
In June, a taco restaurant in California had to temporarily close its doors due to harassment towards its staff over face mask policies.
At the time, Hugo’s Tacos announced the closure on its Facebook page, writing, “Our Taco Stands are exhausted by the constant conflicts over guests refusing to wear masks. Staff have been harassed, called named, and had objects and liquids thrown at them. A mask isn’t symbolic of anything other than our desire to keep our staff healthy.”