The holidays can be a whole lot of fun to celebrate. You may be anxious to decorate your restaurant in preparation of all of the upcoming holidays. However, it can be advantageous to go with a generic theme so that you don’t alienate particular demographics. Instead of going with “Christmas”, you can go with a winter wonderland. However, if you feel very strongly about your beliefs, it’s perfectly acceptable to go with a Christmas theme, complete with Santa, Christmas trees, and more. Regardless, here are some basic things to keep in mind for getting your restaurant ready for the holidays.
Certain decorations should be left out of your restaurant no matter what because of health code as well as general safety. Poinsettia plants are gorgeous, but they are also poisonous. If you have a restaurant allows dogs on the patio or anywhere else, it’s best to consider leaving these out of your restaurant – or choose a fake option.
If you want to have a Christmas tree, make sure that it is nowhere near customers. You don’t want anyone tripping over electrical wires or lighting because it can be a liability nightmare. You may also want to consider choosing an artificial tree because the needles dropping can be problematic to clean up on an ongoing basis.
Any time you use garland, be sure it is done so that it does not go near any kind of lit candles or other open flames. You also don’t want to block any exits or exit signs as this can be a direct violation of fire code.
Materials that you use, whether it is an artificial tree, garland, or anything else, should be flame retardant. You also want to be sure that you take down any extension cords so that they do not become trip hazards.
You also want to avoid placing any kind of decor on sprinkler heads or within 18 inches of the sprinkler heads. Many restaurants have tried to get creative by using the sprinkler heads as hooks – and this can be an instant fail from the health department.
Locate fire alarm strobes, fire hose cabinet, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and pull stations. Create a barrier of 36 inches from all of these so that you can place decorations. If you have a fire or health inspection and decorations are found to be closer than the 36 inches, it can result in a fine and potentially close down the restaurant until you make the necessary changes. You don’t want to deal with any of these things. it is far better to be mindful of them when you start to hang the decorations.
If you are unsure about something, it can be better to place a call to the fire department or the health department to inquire. Most of the time, there will be notices on the department websites to talk to you about decorations so that you don’t encounter any major problems.