Dennis Keith, the Founder and CEO
The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a massive transformation likely to have lasting consequences for the food and beverage industry. A survey released by the National Restaurant Association states that nearly 1 in 6 restaurants (representing nearly 100,000 restaurants) in the U.S. is closed either permanently or long-term, and nearly 3 million employees are out of work on account of the pandemic. Severe supply chain disruptions, lockdowns, social distancing, and stringent food safety protocols have forced restaurants to the brink of a disaster. While restaurants are rapidly pivoting and innovating to get back on their feet, companies like Respro Health & Safety are helping them stem the rising tide of COVID-induced implications. The company empowers restaurants with crisis management and brand protection packages, robust quality control programs, foodborne illness investigations, food safety and quality assurance audits, food safety training, regulation liaison, and plan reviews.
“We’re one of the very few food safety companies to actively work every day, even with the outbreak of COVID-19, to help restaurants adhere to safety regulations and curb the spread of disease among their employees by enforcing a strict sick employee policy. Over the past year, we were able to help restaurants with not only food safety practices, which is the core part of our program, but also crisis management so that they can navigate the unforeseen challenges,” says Dennis Keith, the Founder and CEO of Respro Health & Safety.
To this end, the company began writing and implementing COVID-19 protection plans early on to prepare restaurants for emerging protocols and help them stay compliant and continue operations. In fact, Respro Health & Safety is one of the first companies to develop and offer restaurant-specific COVID-19 protection plans. Having worked with local health departments as well as in the restaurant industry, Keith combined his deep-rooted knowledge of infectious disease control with restaurant safety to write robust COVID-19 protection plans even before the pandemic hit Utah and full-fledged lockdown restrictions were imposed. “I am confident that the protocols we had instilled from the beginning are still working today, helping restaurants stay open and enabling safe dining and working conditions for their customers and employees,” notes Keith.
Be it a pandemic or foodborne illness caused by E. Coli or Salmonella, Respro Health & Safety is fully equipped to help restaurants combat them by implementing the right food safety and quality controls effectively. “By staying abreast of the ever-changing market trends, we develop food safety plans quickly for restaurants to implement so they can avoid closures and are not bogged down with food safety issues,” adds Keith. With the right blend of experts from the restaurant industry and licensed, highly-trained restaurant inspectors who have worked in local health departments, Respro Health & Safety creates practical and flexible solutions to help restaurants ensure complete safety and compliance.
To illustrate Respro Health & Safety's capabilities in helping restaurants overcome the business adversities raised by the pandemic, Keith cites their recent engagement with an emerging restaurant brand. With a couple dozen units and numerous employees, it was increasingly daunting for the restaurant to understand the COVID-19 safety regulations and ensure that all their units adhere to them and continue their operations. By making frequent onsite visits, the team at Respro Health & Safety helped the client seamlessly set up and implement the safety protocols in all their units. Respro Health & Safety also trained the client and helped them safely operate through the pandemic.
Currently, the company is in the final stage of releasing a restaurant health and safety app to help restaurants perform self-audits, identify deficiencies in food safety practices, and fix them quickly through a mobile device. Further, clients and subscribers can submit their crisis issues through the app for expert assistance. Driven by continual innovation, the company envisions expanding across the country and extending its services to more restaurants.