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In anticipation of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Phase Two of reopening businesses in the state following a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association has created a training program to help restaurant owners and their staff follow up-to-date safety protocols.

“It was born out of a desire to help restaurant businesses reopen safely,” said Lynn Minges, president of the NCRLA.

The program is called Count on Me NC and was created in partnership with the NC State Extension, the NC Department of Health and Human Services and Visit North Carolina. It covers protocols for social distancing, employee health screenings, face coverings, point-of-sale transactions, use of disposable menus and condiments, and cleaning of doors, chairs, tables and restrooms.

The free training is done entirely through the website and takes about 30 minutes. There are segments for restaurant owners, wait staff and kitchen staff.

“We want to make sure restaurant owners and operators and managers, as well as employees of restaurants in the front and back of the house, are equipped with the latest protocols around COVID-19 and guidance for reopening,” Minges said.

After completion, a restaurant can be added to an online list of restaurants which have completed the program. The list is available to the public and is searchable. Restaurants can also download a certificate that can be printed and displayed.

The website includes a section of responsible protocols for customers.

“We’re dependent of consumers being respectful and kind of each other with regards to social distancing, washing their hands and wearing those masks until have to remove them for eating and drinking,” Minges said.

The program will eventually be expanded to include hospitality businesses like hotels and entertainment venues.

For information on the NCRLA program, visit

Helping others

A portion of the purchase of a Family Meal Deal at Firehouse Subs goes to the Fire House Subs Public Safety Foundation to provide lifesaving equipment to first responders. The family meals retail for around $24 and include three medium subs, chips and cookies.

For every $7.99 box meal purchased for a first responder or health care worker, Ruby Tuesday will add an additional box lunch for free.

Rose Soiree dinner

The Undercurrent in Greensboro) is offering a Rose Soiree dinner, with wine, for take-out on Saturday.

Call 336-370-1266 or visit

Contact Carl Wilson at 336-373-7145 or at

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