Texas Restaurant Association Launches COVID-19 Health & Safety Training Certification, Restaurant Verification Program

Expansion of the Texas Restaurant Promise in partnership online with Dallas College and A Closer Look prepares service staff while building customer trust

DALLAS – As restaurants across the state slowly re-open their dining rooms, 77% of consumers say they plan to reduce visits to restaurants in the future. Without those sales, more small businesses and family legacies will be forced to close their doors forever.

To address consumer confidence, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA), Dallas College (formally Dallas Community College), and A Closer Look today announce a new program that will train, evaluate, and certify restaurants on the additional protocols that must be followed per Governor Abbott’s minimum standard health protocols.

A grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is powering the work behind this innovative program.

The Texas Restaurant Promise Certification Program ensures employees understand the new protocols of operating in a COVID-19 environment and establishes trust between restaurants and their guests.

Customers should begin to look for the Texas Restaurant Promise Certified and Verified decal on doors of Texas neighborhood restaurants, cafes, and bars as an indicator that these businesses have gone above and beyond for their safety.

The training program consists of five courses focused on key roles within a restaurant: managers, takeout/delivery line staff, servers, kitchen staff, and cleaning crew.

In order for a restaurant to earn its Texas Restaurant Promise Certified and Verified decal, a minimum of five employees must complete the requisite courses and the restaurant must undergo the third part of the program – third party onsite evaluation.

A Closer Look, a mystery shopping and customer experience company with decades of experience in the hospitality sector, will provide the third part of the program, onsite evaluation.

A member of A Closer Look’s team will visit participating restaurants multiple times, providing feedback directly to the owner/operator for them to incorporate into staff training.

Additionally, A Closer Look’s Health and Hygiene Satisfaction Program ensures standard health protocols are consistently followed in all locations, providing critical feedback and best practices on any necessary changes.

This feedback loop also includes feedback directly from customers on their perception of restaurants’ health and sanitation standards.

The initial grant from TWC will provide funding for 500 restaurants to be evaluated and certified with 2,500 of their employees receiving training. TRA and Dallas College plan to continue expanding grant funding from the Texas Workforce Commission to ensure all restaurants and employees can participate.

The program kicks off with a launch event on June 24 at 11:00 a.m. with the following guests:

  • Dr. Joe May, Chancellor, Dallas College
  • Dr. Emily Williams Knight, Chief Executive Officer for Texas Restaurant Association (TRA)
  • Bryan Daniel, Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public, Texas Workforce Commission
  • Aaron Demerson, Commissioner Representing Employers, Texas Workforce Commission
  • Steve DeShazo, Sr. Director of Culinary, Pastry, and Hospitality
  • Kelvin Walker, CEO, Dallas Citizens’ Council
  • Nikky Phinyawatana, Owner, Asian Mint
  • Chris Gillen, CEO, A Closer Look
  • Moderator: Anna Tauzin, Chief Revenue and Innovation Officer for TRA

Attendees can join the kick-off call using this link: https://dcccd.webex.com/dcccd/onstage/g.php?MTID=eed89063ad815ec0f7f09de2c8d5fb0f8.

The first class will start on June 25. More information can be found at TXRestaurant.org/TXRestaurantPromiseCertification.

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