- Let your customers know everything you’re doing to keep them safe. Use e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, your website, and posted messages at your locations to communicate that their health and the health of your employees is your #1 priority. Here’s an example.
- Seattle fine-dining restaurant Canlis is adding delivery options and operating a “drive-through”: “We’re shutting down our dining room and bringing the food to you.”
- Offer curbside (or parking lot?) pickup.
- Tell your customers you prefer cashless payments. If you have card readers that enable “tap to pay,” put up signs to encourage customers to use it and other forms of contactless payments (but some cities and states have prohibited the practice of requiring cashless payments, so just make the suggestion).
- Replace your regular menus with paper menus. Use disposable plates, cups and utensils.
- Suspend use of customers’ personal cups and require fresh, disposable cups.
- Close your drivers’ lounges, game rooms or other places where people congregate. Eliminate in-store dining.
- Instead of providing self-serve condiments, provide them in to-go bags or as a side in sit-down restaurants.
- Eliminate self-service grab-n-go food, buffets, soup and salad bars.
- Clyde’s restaurants in D.C. are adding “doorpersons” so patrons can avoid touching doors. They’ve also spread out tables and added QR codes to menus so customers can view menus on their smartphones.
- Prop open your front doors if the weather permits.
- Consider limiting your hours of operation. This can give your employees time to restock shelves and thoroughly clean and disinfect. Remember to communicate the new hours—and explain that you’re taking these steps to safely and better serve your customers.
- Provide disposable gloves to employees.
- Set up hand sanitizer stations near entrances.
- Thoroughly clean and sanitize your locations frequently throughout the day. Don’t forget fuel pump handles and digital screens.
- Consider helping the community by selling products you may not normally carry such as cases of water, 48ct toilet paper, gallons of bleach, hand sanitizer in 32 oz, etc. This will help relieve the stress being placed on traditional retailers and ease the minds of panicked shoppers.
- If weather and state emergency directives permit, consider offering outdoor seating.
- Finally, be vigilant about ensuring that employees who feel sick stay home.
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