Getting your venue ready for the “new normal”
One thing is for certain; when this lockdown is lifted the general public are going to be a lot more cautious about hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation as well as what they touch and who comes into their 2m ‘personal space’
It is important to reassure customers that as an indoor restaurant / attraction you are doing everything you can to ensure high levels of hygiene within your venue and you are encouraging all employees and customers to follow stance.
So how can we do this effectively?
Have all your staff onboard.
- Have regular toolbox talks with your team to ensure they know how to wash their hands and are aware of the high standards of cleanliness required including identifying high risk touch points etc.
- If your employees have smart watches, ask them to set a timer every 20 minutes to remind them to wash their hands.
- Ensure your team are aware that they should not attend work if they feel unwell and should notify their superiors.
Promote yourself in the correct manner.
- Promote on Social Media that you are serious about hygiene / hand washing etc. Maybe launch a competition asking customers how long they should wash their hands for / offer children colouring in sheets that get hygiene messages across to them.
- Consider adding a page to your website detaining the additional hygiene measures you have in place
- Be mindful of any promotions that may encourage too many visitors to your venue especially if there are capacity / social distancing measures in place – this would be detrimental to your marketing campaigns.
How can technology help?
- Invest in Hygenikx + Air and Surface Sterilisation systems which are capable of significantly reducing MS-2; a surrogate of Norovirus which is even more difficult to kill than Covid 19 – promote awareness of your new system to customers.
- Coronavirus and HyGenikx Scientific Statement
- Promote contactless payment and make sure your PQD machines have been updated to accept the increased £45 contactless payment limit.
- Consider investing in a CounterCache machine to handle bank notes. These machines detect fake bank notes and allow the notes to be deposited, counted, bagged and handed straight to your bank without having to touch the notes.
- Consider implementing a digital hygiene / cleaning checklist to ensure all areas are adequately cleaned and sanitised. ItsTicked.com is a digital checklist app that records all steps taken with photos and ensures your team are carrying out cleaning duties correctly with features such as QR locked questions, training videos and alerts when tasks are not completed etc. They have ready to use hygiene checklist templates within the app.
- If you have digital signage / TVs include hand washing videos and other hygiene messages for your customers to see.
- For venues that have a speaker / PA system; include audio messages at set frequencies to encourage people to wash their hands. This can be done as simply as including an audio recording within an iTunes playlist.
- If your EPOS system is able to offer online ordering then consider implementing it to reduce queues at your Food & beverage ordering points. Also think whether there are ways you can reduce customers gathering around tills / collection points.
Organise yourself ready for reopening.
- Ensure your venue is thoroughly cleaned and sanitised prior to reopening, post a video or photos onto your social media showing the cleaning that has been carried out.
- Ask your local EHO officer to pay a visit to your site, show them the additional measures you have taken and ask for their input – again let your social media audience know once you have had their approval.
- Prior to opening ensure you are well stocked with hand soaps, adequate cleaning and disinfecting products, blue roll, cleaning equipment and relevant PPE.
- Prior to reopening ensure all existing stock has been rotated and any out of date products have been removed. ItsTicked.com customers can make use of the QR locked questions by placing a QR codes at the back of each shelf to ensure your team clear shelves when going through stock rotation procedures.
- If there are any areas / fixtures or fittings in your venue that are high touch points, then consider removing them / leaving doors left open so there is reduced touching of handles etc (provide signage to show reasons for this).
- If you are introducing new cleaning chemicals to your business; ensure that Risk Assessments, method statements and COSHH sheets are up to date.
- Follow any distancing / capacity limits guidance that may apply and ensure your venue has all these measures and controls in place.
- Provide hand sanitisation gels around your building for customers and staff to use.
- Ensure your toilets are regularly cleaned and checked including hand soap levels; again, use our app to create regular toilet checklists with alerts for lateness.
- Request that any customers who are feeling unwell do not attend your venue and place relevant signage on entrance doors / reception desks etc.
- Hang posters around your building including at all wash points to promote proper hand washing. Contact us if you do not have posters and we can send a PDF of our template.
- Ensure your team appreciates that people have been locked down for a long time; naturally your customers are going to want to ‘let their hair down’; socialise and catch up with friends and family and catch up following a long time apart – consider new offerings / party packages / ability to offer larger bookings etc.
- If your venue offers birthday parties, consider offering ½ year parties to people who had their birthdays during the lock down period.
- If you offer gift vouchers; ensure expiry dates are extended to allow customers to still use them
- Ensure tables are cleaned down as soon as customers finish / leave, bins are regularly emptied, and any rubbish is picked up from the floor.
- Prior to the recent social distancing and venue closings; one of our hospitality businesses noticed a significant rise in customers asking for hot drinks in take away cups – consider offering single use takeaway cups for the near future.
- Ensure that dish / pot wash machines are stocked with correct levels of cleaning agents and are operating at sufficient temperatures. Once washed and dried, consider handling cutlery with gloves and wrapping cutlery sets in cling film which can be handed directly to customers when they receive their food.
- Consider extra cleaning shifts / night-time disinfection and regular deep cleans.