Restaurant Associates Forms New Safety Role with a Laser Focus on COVID-19 Related Safety and Health Measures

May 18, 2020

NEW YORK, May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the onsite dining industry continues to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and supports clients in re-opening plans, Restaurant Associates, the nation's premier onsite dining management company, announced the formation of a new role, RA COVID-19 Safety Czar. The position ascertains a laser focus from the company on COVID-19 related safety measures ensuring the health and wellbeing of team members and guests. 


The position is held by Anthony Capozzoli, a 13-year Restaurant Associates veteran. A graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Anthony has held a variety of front and back of house positions for Restaurant Associates and was most recently Senior Director of Strategic Projects, directing all new unit openings and refreshes as well as coordinating quality assurance and workplace safety programs with a series of communications, awareness programs, specification of protective gear, and consistent follow-up.


"We believe this is a critical time to make expert resources available for our clients and operators to ensure everyone's safety and well-being," said Michael Gallagher, President, Restaurant Associates. "I cannot think of a better person than Anthony to lead this effort. In order to stay current and provide accurate information in a timely manner, we have formed an Advisory Board to guide and support Anthony." 


The Advisory Board supporting the RA COVID-19 Safety Czar role is comprised of industry experts with years of experience:

  • Beth Torin: Beth was the Executive Director for the NYC Department of Health Office of Food Safety for the past 14 years.  In that role, she was responsible for over 25,000 food service establishment inspections per year. Beth has experience in food service operations, design and assessment, and food safety.
  • Dr. David Buckley: Dr. Buckley serves as the Director of Retail Food Safety for Diversey. David earned a BS in biology and chemistry from East Carolina University and a doctorate in microbiology from Clemson University. David is a classically trained virologist with a focus on a variety of environmental and foodborne pathogens, such as noroviruses, Salmonella spp., E. coli O157:H7, and L. monocytogenes
  • Ted Diskin:  Ted is President of Health and Sanitation Systems since its inception in 1986. After receiving a Master's degree in Operations Research from NYU and a Master's degree in Environmental Health Sciences from the City University of New York, Ted became a member of its graduate faculty. He is a Registered Sanitarian through the NYS Registry of Sanitarians.
  • Lena Darrell, MPH, REHS/RS, RD, CDN: Lena has managed Quality Assurance for Compass Group for the last 6 years after 9 years industry experience. Lena holds an MS in Public Health and a BS in Food Science and Nutrition from Hunter College. She is REHS/RS (Registered Sanitarian from NEHA) as well as a Registered Dietitian.
  • Amanda King: As Workplace Safety Manager for Compass Group for the last 10+ years, Amanda focuses on preventing workplace accidents and promoting health and safety awareness and education. 
  • Aaron Salsbury: As VP of Data Analytics with 9+ years of experience building strategy for foodservice, Aaron is a new senior leader dedicated to RA from E15 Group, Compass Group's data services and consumer insights arm. 


The Advisory Board will function as a think tank examining information and guidelines to form protocols, counsel operators and clients, guide internal and external communications, as well as share best practices from across business sectors and industries. 


"I am extremely excited to kick off this effort to translate guidelines into action plans and bring innovative solutions to our clients while supporting our managers and associates," said Anthony Capozzoli, RA COVID-19 Safety Czar. "My two main goals are to nurture a culture of enhanced safety and to foster a sense of guest confidence."


A network of RA COVID-19 Safety Champions across the regions will support the implementation and auditing of the programs, training of managers and team members, and coordinating cleaning and sanitizing services through Restaurant Associates' sister sector Eurest Services


"Since our early years, Restaurant Associates has made the health and safety of our employees and guests our number one priority, it's in our DNA and an integral part of our culture of CARE." said Dick Cattani, CEO, Restaurant Associates. "We want to dedicate our best resources to safely manage the re-opening plan and beyond, hence appointing this unique position." 


See the original Press Release here: