This article is part of our "Road to Recovery: Restaurant Reopening Tips" series, sharing information on topics surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and food service, from the future of the industry to operational advice and more. Business regulations may vary by state and locality, please consult local government resources before making business decisions.
Who would have thought that bringing in more money could be a danger to restaurant staff? Research from NYU has found that cash is a very germ-friendly surface, and credit cards are only marginally better. Although the risk of getting infected through surface contact is low if you stick to regular hand-washing, the CDC still recommends using contactless payment as much as possible. If you do use cash or credit cards, avoid hand-to-hand contact by passing off the cash or card on a counter or in a receipt tray.
There are multiple systems for implementing contactless payment. Check with your point-of-sale system provider to see if they have implemented any contactless payment methods, as some POS systems are now allowing customers to access the restaurant menu and pay for their meals all through their phones via a QR code.
If contactless payment is not an option, be sure to wipe down credit cards with sanitizing wipes before and after running them. If a pin or signature is necessary, wipe down the surfaces and offer hand sanitizer after use.
More Clean, More Green
If curbside/contactless pickup is not feasible at your location, identify surfaces that customers may have to touch or areas where they may have to be close to other people during their visit into the restaurant. Can front doors be propped open? Can tape be put on the floor at 6-foot intervals for people who line up? Can there be a sanitization station somewhere in the dining room? Answering these kinds of questions will improve the safety of the pickup experience, and set routines that will help as you transition to limited dining in.
These steps may seem like putting customers and staff through a hassle, but remember it is about the optics as much as the safety. We have seen that customers generally report positively on these kinds of interactions, as it reflects your dedication to safety.
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Keeping the Quality in 2020
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