The biggest thing for us is showing & demonstrating to our customers just how serious we are about hygiene.
Signs are great but we have chosen to go down the action route instead. Therefore we are:
- Actively & visually sanitising the ‘touch’ areas every time someone has a spare moment and at least every 20 mins. This means handles, doors, bar etc.
- We have removed some items off our tables and are issuing them only with orders to avoid people unnecessarily touching them. This includes napkins, sugar, beer mats etc.
- When a customer leaves, every element of the table is sanitised – salt & pepper, drinks menu, vinegar, wine list, arms of chairs & obviously the table top and edges. Allowing the full 20 / 30 sec contact time.
- Back of house sanitisation – every 20 mins PDQ’s, phones, screens, beer handles, keyboards – basically anything that gets touched!
- Staff are hand washing behind the bar for the full 20 /30 sec in full view of the customer.
- We are also ensuring that we space out customers (sadly we are taking less bookings anyway) therefore when they come into an area with seven tables we will only be allocating 4 of those 7 to comply with the social distancing guidelines.
Actions speak louder than words – we have this on posters throughout the pub.
Communication is always so important in times of worry for staff – even if you don’t have the answers, they just need to know that you have a level of understanding about their situation, and you are able to open those lines. Be honest, not brutal.
We have regular meetings & have a group chat to update everyone.
We are working really hard to safeguard their jobs at the moment but is no easy task. If we don’t reduce hours, we could have not much of a business to return to when this all eventually goes away.
Carry on – and plan for the future…
We are putting in plans to do major improvements if we are closed, so when we do open we open with a bang – we need to keep busy and feel we are still planning for the future. We strongly believe that when this is all over our customers and the public in general will want to visit us and have a strong need to be social and we have to be ready!
We are planning to maintain our online presence through all of this, displaying positivity, being generous with our time. We need to show the world that we will still care about our customers and the best way to do that in the current climate is online. For example, we have just streamed our quiz to everyone who couldn’t make it to the pub on Facebook Live and the positive feedback and messages have been overwhelming! This also helps our mental health too, knowing that we gave them a bit of light relief for a couple of hours.
We are thinking outside the box. We have hooked up with our local fruit & veg supplier and have become a drop-off zone for their deliveries. Another local publican has amalgamated with his fish & chips shop by serving beer!
Our advice to anyone in the same position is to make connections with suppliers or local businesses. This critical time in all our lives and businesses is not about profit. It is about survival.
Positive PR will help ensure that we have businesses to go back to once we come out the other side of this unprecedented worldwide crisis.