With states going into the green phase and restrictions lifting, businesses can open back up as long as they maintain CDC guidelines. While all industries have their challenges trying to find ways to follow these guidelines, I feel that the restaurant industry has the biggest challenge ahead of them to ensure that their employees and customers are welcomed back in a safe and clean environment. While the FDA has released a “Best Practices” to follow checklist which you can download here, there are additional ways to improve the experience for everyone.
- Antimicrobial Menus:
- Menus are not often thought of as a high touch surface area, but since patrons and employees handle menus, it may be time to think outside of the box on how your menus are printed. Adding an antimicrobial coating to the paper stock will help minimize the growth of microorganisms on the surface of the menu, minimizing the risk of spreading germs.
- Digital Menus:
- Contactless menus are 100% foolproof when it comes to preventing the spread of germs. By allowing customers to scan QR codes found on rack cards or table tents, customers will be able to view your full menu conveniently and safely on their phones without worrying about who touched the menu last. Important note: make sure the webpage that your menu is displayed on is optimized for a mobile experience!
- Chair & Bar Stool Covers:
- Prevent customers from sitting at sectioned off booths and bars by covering chairs and stools with branded plastic. It is cheap, effective, and easily shows customers that you are enforcing social distancing. Adding “Do Not Sit Here” decals directly onto the tables is another cost-effective way to limit the number of tables being used.
- Dry Erase Coatings:
- As guidelines continue to change daily, being able to inform your clientele in a cost-effective way is always important. Utilizing a dry erase finish allows you to print your overall message while being able to write in details that may fluctuate over time. Restaurant capacity, hours and specials are just some of the things that may benefit being printed with a dry erase finish. This coating can be applied to A-frame signs, PVC signs, and decals just to name a few.
As your restaurant continues to reopen, keep in mind that you need to constantly reassure your customers that you are taking every necessary precaution regarding their safety. Promoting all that you are doing online and throughout your location helps build awareness that your establishment is a trusted and safe brand.