Restaurants and Takeaways Going Contactfree
Restaurants and Takeaways Going Contactfree
The coronavirus pandemic that is currently ravaging the world has affected different segments of its economy. In particular the (Takeaway) Restaurant and Food Delivery sectors of the Hospitality Industry have been adversely affected. Industry leaders reacted promptly and made significant changes to their systems as the spread of COVID-19 gained real momentum.
In the US alone, the restaurant industry employs 15.5 million people, that is 7% of the entire population. However, due to the course of the pandemic, half of this workforce was laid off. This is largely due to some of the preventive measures put in place by the governments of different nations which include total lockdown and social distancing, forcing bars, pubs and restaurants to close their doors indefinitely.
Now, four months on, relaxed restrictions allow those businesses to trade once more. Governments across the globe are providing updated guidelines to assist with reopening safely. ‘Adapt to Survive’ has never been a more suitable statement, even to sustain a substantially smaller workforce, restaurants and food delivery businesses are shifting their business models to catch up with current industry trends, creating their own systems for in-house and delivery transactions. There is an obvious ‘new way of doing things’. Some of these new concepts include the following:
1. Introduction of Contact-Free Deliveries & Collections:
The restaurant & food delivery sectors introduced new methods of transaction to avoid direct contact between the food and its courier whilst maintaining social distancing at all times. This ensures the package remains completely untouched between food premises and delivery address.
Contact-Free transactions reduce the spread of COVID 19 to the barest minimum and keep both employees and customers safe. Customers can conveniently opt to have their foods delivered to a chosen ‘safe place’ where they’ll receive a delivery notification by way of text or call. This is already the latest feature on many leading restaurant and food delivery company apps, websites and telephone systems.
For instance, Instacart recently rolled out the “Leave at My Door’ delivery option, while Postmates are offering ‘no-contact deliveries’. In addition, in the US, Domino’s Pizza announced their new ‘contactless delivery’ option early on and have since successfully trialed these methods in other countries.
2. Widely-Spaced Tables:
A 2 metre rule means venues are able to operate at just 70% of original capacity. Social distancing applies to dining room layout too, most allowing even more space to really put their patrons at ease.
Less space means fewer covers at one time and in the end lower turnover. Local councils are offering leniency with venues extending their dining areas outside to increase overall capacity. The general layout of any restaurant remains a constant development as updated government guidelines are announced.
3. Face Mask Etiquette:
Leading restaurants had already introduced upgraded PPE throughout their business, also asking customers to arrive wearing a mask. In the UK it will be mandatory to wear a mask in any shop as of 25 July. Observing this new code of conduct is only more difficult when presented with a plate of food, so masks will not be required in places they’re not practical such as Pubs, Cafes & Restaurants. Though, before gaining entrance into the premises, customers’ temperatures and details are taken for COVID-19 track and trace programmes.
4. Ban on Physical Contact:
Already many restaurants have ordered employees to avoid the usual interactions they are accustomed to. Some behavioural adjustments have been introduced, friendly chatter is to be kept to a minimum, while handshakes are banned altogether. It’s back to basics as far as good service is concerned where customers are greeted, seated and served safely according to the latest guidelines.
Such measures may affect the image of certain businesses where friendly interaction between customers and staff is a major factor for their success. Though now is not a time to resist change, these adaptations to usual protocol help prevent the spread of COVID 19 within premises. Every business is required to take new measures that ensure both diners and employees are safe.
5. Cleaning & Disinfection of High-Risk Areas:
While it might be quite easy to keep people apart in the dining areas, managing social distancing between customers using the toilet facilities is proving more difficult. Here patrons face obstacles that will make it nearly impossible to completely avoid contact with surfaces and fellow customers. From the lengthy queues in tight corridors to using door handles, sink taps and flush chains.
Many restaurants are already introducing more detailed cleaning systems and providing training for staff in-charge of cleaning high-risk areas such as bathroom stalls, water closets and disinfecting touched surfaces. Customers and employees are advised to make use of hand sanitizer dispensers affixed to walls and wash their hands thoroughly after visiting the bathroom.
6. Providing a Checklist of Rules:
Most restaurants have taken it upon themselves to provide an in-house checklist of updated systems for both employees and guests to adhere to. A checklist will highlight where the business has taken extra precaution to protect its customers and employees while using the venue.
Customers are now looking for these checklists within a premises. They are a necessary tool for any business operating post-lockdown, showing both new and returning customers they are moving with the times and looking to protect all who use their facilities.
Health and Safety:
Download our free health and safety checklist
The Coronavirus pandemic has raised the levels of hygiene expected by the general public all around the world. These systems introduced by leading restaurants and food delivery businesses set the standard for the rest of the industry. Large corporations and global brands have a responsibility to lead by example. The standards have been raised and they must be maintained.
Safer methods of transaction between a food business and its customers are now a necessity and expected at every ‘store collection’ and ‘home delivery’.
Going ContactFree and introducing safe systems, while still maintaining the rules of social distancing will reduce the risk of viral replication whilst also displaying to the surrounding community a business is operating to the highest possible standard expected by any council, government or customer.
Some leading food brands are already promoting contact-free services, making use of the terminology to reassure their communities they are operating safely.
The ContactFree™ was created for businesses around the globe to show their customers they have introduced safe systems of combatting COVID-19. It’s a clear-cut symbol that ensures a product is handled safe and sealed between manufacturer and consumer.