The Re-Opening Toolkit

Jason Bacaj | 5 min read

It’d be a lot easier if reopening a business was as simple as flinging open the doors and getting out of the way of people rushing to get in. Instead, businesses across the country and across all industries are paying super close attention to detail in order to survive the pandemic.

Our vision here at Wisetail includes providing exceptional value. So, to that end, we’re collecting resources useful to our clients. This is a living repository, one that we’ll update regularly with resources as we find and vet them. We’re starting with one and keeping our eyes peeled for more. On that note, we’d really appreciate you letting us know if you come across a resource that fits here!

We’re kicking things off with a detailed, thorough—and free!—tool made specifically for the restaurant industry: the Reopening Critical Path by Oyster Sunday.

The reason why we’re beginning here is twofold. Wisetail’s roots are in the restaurant industry, and that industry has been particularly impacted by the pandemic. Plus, this tool is all-encompassing—it covers everything from finance to marketing to insurance to facilities.

When Normal is No Longer an Option


Oyster Sunday is a hospitality services group that works to support the food and beverage industry by providing professional services to independent restaurants. Needless to say, Oyster Sunday has a vested interest in seeing the food service industry make it through the global pandemic.

The Reopening Critical Path is a downloadable spreadsheet that “provides operators with a playbook to navigate daily operations… when ‘normal’ is no longer an option.” Oyster Sunday recommends starting by figuring out how much cash you have on hand and how to create a safe environment for employees and guests.

This is important because, as food service companies have reopened, some have found that it costs nearly as much to reopen after a temporary closure as it does to open one from scratch.

“It’s just a constant buying of things you think you need. It wasn’t a heavy hit of this large dollar amount. It was just a consistent spend,” Lester Gouvia, owner of Norma G’s Caribbean Cuisine, told Eater Detroit.

Once a company commits to reopening locations, this Critical Path tool helps keep them open by tracking those spends as well as the training necessary to keep up with the pandemic.

The spreadsheet is broken into three general buckets and the following specific sections: finance, accounting, operations, safety, human resources, marketing and communication, technology, compliance and insurance, and facilities.

One of the general buckets is money, which is so obviously essential that the first step Oyster Sunday recommends is identifying how much cash you have on hand. After that’s figured out, the spreadsheet walks you through key considerations like forecasting operational costs and resetting operating profit expectations.

A second general bucket is the business operations. Critical Path gives you a checklist of facilities and technology contracts that ought to be reviewed and negotiated, as well as a rundown of essential communications—health and safety measures, adjusted hours, etc.—to send employees and customers.

The third bucket is the most important one: people. This spreadsheet offers a framework of safety considerations such as staggered shifts, separate entrances, flexible sick leave, and other operational changes. Among the potential changes are rehiring protocols and reviews of reporting obligations.

All in all, the Critical Path is an essential tool for navigating the uncertainty of this moment. Until we have a COVID-19 vaccine, reopening and remaining open is going to be a challenge.

Keep an eye out, as we’re looking to regularly update this post with more resources as we find and vet them. We’d really appreciate you letting us know if you come across a resource that fits here!
Wisetail LMS content creator, Jason Bacaj.

By Jason Bacaj

Jason is a content creator with Wisetail. Through research and interviews, he works to help L&D pros grow the breadth of their knowledge. He’s a recovering journalist fascinated with learning.