HARTFORD, Conn — A new web platform called DineSafe is looking to get more customers back into their favorite restaurants as the state continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
"We want guests to have the utmost confidence in restaurants because we have the utmost confidence in our restaurants," said DineSafe CEO Ryan O'Donnell.
Restaurants can sign up on the platform at dinesafe.us. They will answer daily compliance questions and provide documentation to prove they're following state guidelines.
"DineSafe then certifies them as DineSafe Certified or DineSafe Certified Elite if they've answered all their questions 100 percent," O'Donnell said.
Those certifications will then be posted on the DineSafe website for the public to review, helping ease any hesitations.
"A lot of what they're asking and I see it come through daily is what are you doing for your COVID safety protocols?" said Phil Barnett, co-owner of the Hartford Restaurant Group. "We get to show our guests how hard our staff works and what we're doing every day to ensure the safety of all our guests and each other."
The platform also allows restaurants to keep track of any updates in the state guidance
"It is kind of a one-stop-shop for our restaurant operators where they can find pretty much all the regulations that the state puts out for us," said Lindsay Finnemore with the Hartford Restaurant Group. "But DineSafe updates it for us, so we don't have to worry about doing that."
About 200 restaurants have signed up for DineSafe so far, and the goal is to hit a thousand by the end of the year.
"We don't view this as just a one-off COVID thing. We view this as a platform that embraces the new and larger role that safety's going to play in the dining in Connecticut and the country going forward," said O'Donnell.
A search function on the DineSafe website will be up within the next two weeks so people can start reviewing how their favorite restaurant is following protocols.
Restaurants can sign up for free by clicking here.
The organization will also be rolling out a smartphone app in the next few weeks that will display all the information.