What Restaurant Owners Need to Know About Sneeze Guards

The use of restaurant sneeze guards isn’t a new phenomenon in buffet-style restaurants, But since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant sneeze guards and social distancing products became overnight necessities to keep employees and patrons safe and restaurant doors open.

As we begin to navigate a return to normalcy, it’s now as important as ever to remain vigilant with efforts to reduce the spread of germs and illness in public spaces, starting with sneeze guard guidelines for restaurants. Paired with Hand Sanitizer Stations at all entrances and exits, your restaurant will portray the clean and sanitary image patrons need to see during the transition back to normalcy.

Restaurant sneeze guard guidelines are often determined by your state, regional, or local government. We recommend contacting your local health department for the most accurate sneeze guard guidelines for restaurants in your area.

5 Restaurant Sneeze Guard Guidelines

Height & Position

The National Sanitation Foundation recommends sneeze guards stand to reach the mouth of a 5’-6’ tall person. As for the position, sneeze guards should be adjusted to appropriately cover the food or objects on the other side, For instance, a self-serve salad bar or buffet would benefit from a self-service sneeze guard or buffet sneeze guard, while a cafeteria-style restaurant would benefit from a full-service restaurant sneeze guard. 


Since swinging sneeze guards cannot protect food or people, they must not be movable by either staff or patrons in any part of the restaurant, including:

  • Between staff and patrons at the bar
  • Between tables and customer seating
  • At the hostess stand & cash register


As a general rule, restaurant sneeze guards should be made from clear acrylic or glass and should be cleaned regularly for optimal sanitation and visibility. Broken, cracked, damaged, or heavily scratched, or sneeze guards obstructing patron’s view of the food or object on the other side should be replaced as soon as possible, not only for sanitary reasons but for providing optimal customer experience as well. For example, buffet sneeze guards should be large enough to cover all the food, allow the customer to see the food and not have any cracks or damage that will allow germs to spread.

What’s more, your sneeze guards should be easy to clean and be free from fingerprints, streaks, or fog. Safely6ft™ acrylic sneeze guards can easily be cleaned with a clean, damp, lint-free cloth using water or a commercially available plastic cleaner.


Considering the importance of sneeze guard guidelines for restaurants, choosing the most durable sneeze guards for your restaurant should be a key deciding factor. Your sneeze guards should be able to keep up with demand and withstand whatever environment you expect them to be used in. Safely6ft™ acrylic sneeze guards are durable, lightweight sneeze guards that are both easy to assemble and easy to clean. We carry a large variety of restaurant sneeze guards of all shapes, sizes, and configurations to perfectly match the flow and feel of your restaurant.


Aside from the standard sneeze guard recommendations, it’s also important to choose the right restaurant sneeze guards based on functionality, For instance, your hostess or bartender would have a difficult time operating behind a full-service sneeze guard but would benefit greatly from a sneeze guard with pass-through openings, making it easy to serve patrons drinks, food, and complete transactions. Meanwhile, a full-service sneeze guard would be ideal between restaurant tables, giving patrons a feeling of safety and security in your restaurant.

No matter what size your restaurant or how busy business may be, following local sneeze guard guidelines for restaurants in your area is a safety measure both staff and patrons will both notice and appreciate. That’s why at Safely6ft™, we make it simple to find the social distancing products you need to best operate your restaurant in this time of uncertainty. From social distancing graphics and hand sanitizing stations to a large selection of sneeze guards, our social distancing products can make all the difference in the health and safety of your staff and patrons as we move towards life after the pandemic.

Not sure what products best suit your space? Reach out to the safely6ft™ team today! 

Amy Servi

Amy Servi wants to live in a world filled with innovative businesses, cute dogs, and more softball. Previously the Assistant...Read More

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