Good Evening, I’d Like a Table for Six

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Last week, Michigan restaurants faced new restrictions for seating guests when the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extended its epidemic order to limit non-residential indoor gatherings without fixed seating such as weddings, parties, and banquets to 50 people—the limit was 500—and restrict individual table sizes at bars, restaurants, and social events outside private homes to six people. This change responds to global evidence that COVID’s explosive growth is powered by events where large-scale outbreaks have occurred, and that indoor settings are as much as 20 times more likely to drive outbreaks than outdoor settings. Like many other businesses in Michigan, bars and restaurants will also now be required to take names and contact information to support effective contact tracing. While most restaurants are complying with the order by keeping track of diners’ information with paper logs, technology innovations have made the process more safe and secure. To help restaurants keep track of guests, Technology Solutions of Michigan (TS-MI) is offering Michigan restaurants a free COVID-19 tracing questionnaire form that aligns with the new Michigan Health Department requirements. Within hours of the announcement, TS-MI received a slew of requests from throughout Michigan. “So many businesses are facing uncharted constraints during this pandemic. It is an honor to be able to support them by making it easier to comply with guidelines and keep people safe,” explained TS-MI Chief Operating Officer, Tomas Minto. Here’s how it works:

  • The restaurant provides TS-MI with their name and email address
  • TS-MI creates the contact tracing page for the restaurant
  • TS-MI provides the restaurant with a QR code that links to the web page
  • The restaurant shares the QR code with their customers
  • The restaurant’s customers scan the QR code with their smartphone camera and get directed to the web page where they can enter their contact information
  • The customer contact information is stored in a secure database
  • The restaurant is able to access the database and produce the contact tracing info as required by the MI Health Dept

“It’s fast, easy, and free. Best of all, contactless information gathering eliminates the need for disinfecting pens and paper document filing. It’s also very secure since TS-MI does not share or sell your customer’s information. The restaurant administrator is the only one with access to the database, and it is always handy- no need to compile data whenever the State requests it,” said Tomas. So, get ready to limit your party to six when making reservations and be understanding when the restaurant asks for a bit more information. That hamburger with fries will be worth it. We promise.

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