The COVID19 pandemic certainly hit many small business owners very hard. While some companies were able to quickly recover by moving their services online, others like restaurants and cafes were unable to undo the damage done by being forced to close down. Now as restaurants, cafes and diners begin to reopen around the country, they are seeing another problem – people are choosing to stay at home more often in order to protect themselves from the virus. While it’s inevitable that customer numbers might not be as high as they were pre-pandemic, there are some things that you can do to make your customers feel safer than ever when visiting your small business.
If you run a restaurant, cafe, or another eatery there are new rules and regulations about providing sneeze guards to protect your customers depending on the state that you are in. But even if you don’t need to provide sneeze guards by law, it’s well worth considering putting up some kind of safety barrier to offer extra protection to your customers and employees. These can be fitted in between tables or at your bar or service area to provide an extra layer of protection to shield everybody from droplets from others when talking, coughing, or sneezing. If you run a store, they can be fitted at the checkout area to protect customers and employees.
While customers will not need to keep their mask on when they sit down to eat in a restaurant, making it clear that you expect everybody except those who are exempt due to an underlying health condition to wear some kind of face-covering when anywhere else in your restaurant will provide peace of mind to those who are safety-conscious. Wearing a face covering helps to reduce the spread of the virus from one person to another, so asking everybody to wear one if they can, even if your state has not mandated mask-wearing, will help to keep everybody safe. People can find a reusable face mask in most stores, or they could purchase one online from StringKing, for example. This will help to improve safety in stores.
The more people that are together in one place, the higher the risk of the virus being spread – so it’s important to have clear social distancing rules and guidelines implemented in your business. This could involve putting clear signage on the floor at the checkout area to prevent customers from queuing too closely together or limiting the number of customers in your business premises at any one time for extra control. If you run a restaurant, taking bookings only is a good way to control customer numbers.
Finally, no matter what kind of small business you run, good hygiene for everybody will help both customers and employees feel safer. Install automatic hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance and exit so that customers can use it on their way in and out. If you run a restaurant, bottles of hand sanitizer at the table will be welcomed. Encourage your staff to wash and sanitize their hands on a regular basis, and set aside time to deep clean more often than usual. You could also look to standard, single-use gloves as a way to maintain hygiene. Encourage the staff to keep their hands gloved while they work and inevitably touch a lot of surfaces, clean, and carry out other tasks throughout the day. You could provide your staff with gloves from a hand hygiene company like Unigloves; you should be able to ensure that the gloves you choose are safe to use and provide adequate protection before buying them in bulk if necessary.
What measures have you put in place to make your small business safer during the pandemic?