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The new measures concerning COVID-19

With the spread of COVID-19, the government was forced to take drastic measures. Wallonia and the city of Brussels are actually the areas of Europe most affected by the pandemic.

While it took some time for the different governments to come to an agreement, Belgium finally introduced measures on national level. So it's time for us to tell you what you can do to (re)start your food business in Brussels despite the growing health crisis.

Summary of partial lockdown measures

Curfew has been declared from 10 PM (22.00) to 6 am (06.00), the sale of alcohol is forbidden after 8 PM (20.00), wearing a mask is once again mandatory everywhere in Brussels, as well as working from home for all companies that can manage it

What about the hospitality industry?

The restaurant's indoor services have come to a halt, but take-away and delivery services remain authorized until 10 PM (22.00). This is good news for entrepreneurs to continue to plan for the future and it allows them to maintain a valuable link with their clientele (take-out, home deliveries, new menu cards, rearranging supplies, etc.). It should be noted, however, that the sale of alcohol is prohibited after 8 PM (20.00), so this must be taken into account when preparing orders..

Exceptions to these rules: accommodations (and their restaurants); communal kitchens for residential, school, living and working communities ; collective facilities for the homeless; food and beverage establishments in airport transit areas. (Source : Le Soir)

How can you restart your food business in concrete terms ?

As we have seen, preparing dishes for take-away orders or home deliveries is still allowed until 10 PM (22.00). If you work in a restaurant (virtual or not), you can therefore continue to work in your kitchens as long as you respect the health measures.

On the other hand, if you do not yet have your own facilities, there are still sustainable solutions that enable you to carry out your project in the best possible conditions. You can, for example, rent a professional kitchen to start your project without having to make too large an investment in this complicated economic situation. This is called a "Dark Kitchen" or a "Virtual Restaurant". A restaurant that only offers take-away or home delivery (more information here).

Our tips for getting organized in the kitchen

  • Meticulously and consistently wear your mask (disposable or reusable). The mask must be clean and completely cover your mouth and nose, without ever exceeding 8 hours of continuous use.

  • Remember to wash your hands regularly and every time the situation requires it (as soon as your hands come into contact with your face, your mask or any material that is not used for food preparation or packaging, including your cell phone or computer). This is very important to avoid contamination of your customers through the preparations or containers.

  • Maintain safety distances; a minimum of 1.5 meters from your colleagues/employees. This may be a rule that’s difficult to observe within the ecosystem of a kitchen. Without hindering your productivity, try to assign a specific area to each cook. This will help avoid close contact as much as possible.

  • Do all your administrative work outside the kitchen: Believe it or not, your computer, keyboard, telephone screen, pens and files, in short, everything you touch regularly is likely to be contaminated. It is therefore recommended that you make a clear distinction between the place where all your administrative tasks are performed and the place where you make your preparations. It is also important to remember that any work done remotely must be done at home.

  • Don't take any risks: If you have been in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 or who presents symptoms, do not go to work in the kitchen for the first 7 days following this meeting and contact your doctor to find out what precautions to take. The economic pressure can be strong but your health and that of your customers is much more important.

For more information, see the WHO recommandations.

No date has yet been set for the lifting of the lockdown, so patience and resilience will be required to overcome the crisis. But at BeCook, we are confident that you can do it !

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