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Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association creates 'Seal of Commitment' to promote consumer confidence in businesses

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 18:19:30-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Hospitality industry leaders are working to help convince people that it is safe to go out to restaurants, even with rising coronavirus cases.

The uptick is making a lot of people leery of going out again, so the non-profit Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is launching a new initiative called the Seal of Commitment.

That means wherever you see their symbol, you should trust that business is COVID-19 safe.

"First and foremost, we're dealing with a public health event that happens to have a catastrophic economic component to it," said Geoff Luebkemann, the senior Vice President of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. "We can't get to the economic part until we get to the public health part."

Luebkemann says what's happening across the country means businesses need to help rebuild that trust with the community.

Part of doing so means extra work and more training on cleanliness, with a pandemic-focus.

"It's time to integrate those into our daily operating practices," Luebkemann said. "So, hand hygiene, sanitizing stations, more frequent sanitizing on high touch points, consumer-facing areas."

To get the seal of commitment, managers and food handlers will go through a certification process.

All employees will also go through a COVID-19 safety and sanitation course and the business itself will be inspected from top to bottom.

They'll also be checked for proper signage on things like emergency response plans and letting staff know if someone is sick.

"These are best practices, best of breed to, again, instill that consumer confidence," said Luebkemann.

The group hasn't approved any restaurants or hotels yet, but Luebkemann says there are a few in the process.