It’s hard to find an industry or business that has not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The early days of the country being shut down changed people’s habits and opinions of things they had never before considered. Suddenly a trip to the store seemed far more menacing than it did a few months before.
Fortunately, restrictions have been lifting and people are moving out of their homes and back into their local stores and businesses. Business owners, however, will need to reassure their customers that they are doing all they can to keep them safe when patronizing their store.
The number one way to ensure this feeling of safety can be summed up in one word - CLEAN. Never before have people been so focused on the cleanliness of the places and spaces they visit. MCL is here to partner with you and ensure your customers and clients are comfortable and confident in returning to your establishment. We’ve compiled our top seven suggestions for welcoming your patrons back to a safe experience.
Having a hand sanitizer dispenser outside (or just inside) the entrance of your business allows people to clean their hands before entering. This is important for several reasons. First off, it will decrease contamination when customers touch products within the store. Secondly, it helps put minds at ease to know that others are using this product to cut down on the spread of germs. And thirdly, the appearance of this dispenser at the entrance is a visible signal to existing and potential customers that you care and are taking their safety seriously.
This pedal activated Pur1 Shield Sanitizer System is a great option for your business. The modern design blends with any residential or commercial property. Customers will appreciate the touchless design, eliminating the risk of cross-contamination. It’s also a much cleaner and more pleasant experience for the user than a sloppy pump the squirts erratically. This system is guaranteed to dispense properly every time.
This quality system is built to last with powder-coated aluminum and a steel base. It does not require batteries or installation and is proudly made in North America.
If your business has carts or baskets, you can provide sanitizing wipes for the handles. This small gesture puts minds at ease when people feel they can safely use the carts you’ve provided. These wipes are a great option, containing 75% alcohol and killing 99.9% of germs.
To help ease the mind of your client and ensure your safety protocols are being followed, you may consider assigning one of your employees to the front door. This individual can greet your visitors and answer any questions they may have. They can also remind them to use the hand sanitizer provided and give them with a mask if they don’t have one. Currently, masks are mandatory in Ontario and many provinces across Canada.
Most people now travel with their own reusable face covering, but you’ll want to be sure you can offer a mask if they don’t have one. These 3-ply, earlooped masks are a good option to have available at your business.
#3 Limit Capacity & Social Distancing
Limiting the capacity of your store may not just be to make your customers feel safe, it may be a requirement of opening your doors. Depending on the size of your establishment and the layout of your business, social distancing may be difficult. The work-around is to limit how many people can enter at a time. This measure signals to your customer that you have their best interest at heart and are doing all that you can to ensure a safe place of business.
To ensure social distancing, you may consider investing in floor markers to indicate a safe distance between individuals in line.
#4 Curbside Pick Up or Dedicated Hours
Depending on your business, you may consider offering curbside pick up. What seemed like an extra frill months ago became an essential element for staying open and servicing clients in recent days. Vulnerable people will appreciate the option to support your business while not venturing into the confines of your building.
To offer curbside pick up, you’ll need to communicate to your clients how they can utilize the service and be sure they understand the full range of products and services you have available.
If curbside pick up is not possible for your business, but you still want to serve individuals that are in the vulnerable category, you may consider the first hour of the day dedicated specifically for them.
#5 Active Cleaning
Customers not only want a clean environment, they want to see evidence of that. Your staff should be actively cleaning throughout their shift. Depending on your business, this might mean wiping down the checkout area between orders or wiping down a table before seating the next group at a restaurant.
Any high-touch areas or common spaces should be disinfected frequently. Arming your staff with a small spray bottle like this one can combat germs, bacteria and grime on the spot. This all-natural antibacterial/antimicrobial solution kills more than 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, germs and more harmful pathogens. This product is also available in large jugs suitable for refills or larger cleaning jobs.
Not only are washrooms necessary for your staff but also your clients. This is an extremely important area to keep clean and properly outfitted to ensure your customer feels safe in your business.
An automatic soap dispenser like this one allows people to access the soap without cross contaminating the dispenser. The foaming action helps reduce the mess from drippy liquid soap.
Include a reminder of proper hand washing techniques close to the soap/sink area. This visual will be a gentle nudge to lather up for at least 20 seconds. A good soap like this Pink Pearl will wash away dirt and bacteria while leaving hands feeling soft and smooth.
Does your washroom offer paper towels to dry hands? Paper towels are not only more effective at drying hands in a quicker time, they also remove bacteria more effectively and cause less contamination in the washroom. Many people will be apprehensive about using hand dryers given the aggressive way they stir up the air in the room.
#7 Checkout & Payment
The checkout area can be a cause for concern for a variety of reasons. Every transaction passes through that space, so it is a high traffic area. In addition, the customer is in close proximity to your staff at the checkout. There are a few suggestions we have for your payment area.
As we mentioned above, ensure that your employee wipes down the counter between each customer. This should include the debit/credit machine. Apprehensive minds will be relieved to see this attention to detail. You may also consider a protective plexiglass barrier for your checkout area.
Debit and credit have become popular options for those not wanting to handle cash. While cash is still a very acceptable commodity, ensuring you offer cashless options will ease some minds. For those handling cash, providing hand sanitizer at the checkout is a nice option and shows you’re going the extra mile.
As we enter this new stage, we can help your business succeed. MCL can provide you with the cleaning supplies and tools necessary to effectively operate while keeping your staff and customer safe. Contact us with any questions or specific requests.