The pandemic has had a huge impact on the hospitality industry across the globe.
Beyond the legal restrictions, the pandemic has required additional personal cautions. This has meant that fewer people feel comfortable eating out. When ordering in, they have additional concerns about safety during pickup or delivery. They want to make sure that employees who have prepared and handled their food aren’t sick.
The Importance of Restaurant Safety
By being cautious, you can help your own restaurant to stay open because you reduce risk of transmission to employees and customers. But in addition, it’s important to make sure that your customers know the safety measures you are taking.
Taking steps to show customers now that they can feel safe dining in or out will be huge in driving traffic in the future. By growing an association of your brand with awareness and caution, customers will feel greater trust and loyalty.
Here are some major steps that you can take to show your business cares about the safety of their customers.
Encourage Your Team to Demonstrate Safety Procedures
Your customers want to know that you and your team are taking their safety seriously. One of the best ways that you can show them that you are doing so is by encouraging your team members to consistently demonstrate the safety procedures that are in place.
Make sure that every team member knows what the guidelines are for the area you’re in and that they follow safety protocols, such as wearing a mask. Customers want to see that employees demonstrate enforcing safety procedures with others. It’s also important that your team members don’t touch their mouths, noses, or faces while they’re working.
Utilize a Contactless Ordering System
When it comes to making your customers feel safe, it’s important to make sure they feel safe in every step of the process. Customers that are ordering out often have more specific concerns. If they want to avoid the contact of eating in person, they also want to make sure that you consider things like implementing a safe ordering system.
You will find that many customers prefer to place their order via a contactless ordering system. ToGo, a company that specializes in restaurant ordering technology, recommends adding a mobile ordering technology. By allowing the option to order and pay online instead of in person, this strategy could help to boost your customer base by making customers feel more comfortable.
Make Frequent Sanitation a Priority
A key part of providing a secure and safe eatery is making sure that tables, counters, and all food preparation surfaces are cleaned frequently. Have standard policies and schedules for sanitization to make sure it is consistent. Clean counters after every use and tables between each customer.
Make sure that there is time after each customer leaves before you let the next customer sit down to give enough time to clean the table. Customers will notice if the table they sit at hasn’t been cleaned. Customers will feel safer when they see when you sanitize things and are aware that you have a strict cleaning schedule in place.
It’s also important to incorporate the strategy of using gloves for tasks like taking credit cards and managing payments. You also want to encourage your team to keep chip and pin machines clean and to wipe pens for signatures and any other key tools used for making payment.
Be Clear on Policies
It’s important that you are aware of any policy changes that have occurred within local ordinances. Restaurants and bars in many places are closed to in-person service entirely for a period of time. Some only let customers in for pickup or allow drive-through. Many are limited in the number of patrons they can accept at one time.
When people do come in person, they may be required to wear a mask or take other cautions. These changes may happen suddenly and customers may not know about the changes. You need to ensure that if someone comes in without a mask that you employees know how to handle that.
Make sure that you keep up on what the local requirements are, educate employees, and take steps to make sure customers know as well.
Give Something Back
There are many businesses and individuals struggling from the pandemic in communities everywhere. Consider implementing a new policy that focuses on giving something back to the local community.
If you are contributing to medical or other needs in the community, it shows that you are aware of the pandemic involved in current happenings. That shows you more likely to support measures related to safety.