With more people buying their alcohol from a liquor store and eschewing crowded areas, what can a bar or restaurant do to bring health-conscious patrons back to their establishment? Improve and maintain cleanliness with these six, bar and restaurant best practices.
Start with a Sanitization Strategy
The first way that you can get people back into your bar during these troubling times is by ensuring your customers remain safe. The best way to ensure that happens is by implementing new methods of sanitizing your bar area to prevent the spread of viruses. Many helpful guidelines have been released by the CDC regarding the cleaners that should be used to kill viruses that could be left on the surface. This will also require that your servers and bar staff are trained in the new cleaning methods. If you haven’t rolled out a new cleaning system by now, then it’s time to start before you move to the next step.
Show Off Your Safety Efforts at the Bar and Online
While the act of cleaning your bar, seating areas, and bathrooms are all very important to reduce the likelihood that anyone gets COVID-19 in your bar, that’s just one part of the equation. All the cleaning in the world won’t make your customers feel better about coming into your bar unless you tell them what you’re doing. Generally, there are two ways to keep your customers informed. First, you should spend some time putting up signs to let your customers know what measures your business is taking to keep them safe. Next, you should engage your social media sites and business site to inform your customers about the ways that you’re cleaning and disinfecting the bar. This proactive measure will make people less wary about coming into your establishment.
Set Up Tables with Social Distancing
As much as establishing a cleaning regimen will help keep customers safe and willing to come into the bar, you should also work on your social distancing in the bar. While some people are more than ready to have a drink at the bar, they might think twice about coming into the bar if they are sitting too close to other people. You have to set up your tables to keep people apart, so they feel safe enough to sit around in your bar. Some bars will have a harder time spreading out their patrons than others, but it will be worth it.
Limit Seating at Your Bar
The bar seating is one of the areas where you have to be the most careful of all. If you have a large bar, you need to have a place for people to order from their seats or wherever they have congregated. If the bar in your building is smaller, then you will need to establish a method of pickup that won’t have customers running into people sitting at the bar. Either way, it is also necessary for you to configure the bar so that you do not have strangers sitting next to each other. In fact, you might want to eschew the bar seating completely unless you can ensure there is no customer-product contamination taking place. The more people that see the precautions you’re taking to keep everyone safe, the better chances you will have of people coming into your bar in the future.
Establish an Area Outside to Drink (Within Regulations)
According to the guidelines issued by the CDC, the chances of people catching COVID-19 from one another decreases dramatically when they are outside. As such, you need to make use of any outside area that you have if you want to get sales happening. Since you aren’t going to seat as many people in your bar as it is, you should be able to reclaim some of the parking space to open up service outside. Of course, this is largely dependent on the place where you are operating. Many localities aren’t allowing bars to establish new areas in which to serve alcohol. However, if the option to create an outside drinking area is available, then it should be explored by your business. Offering customers a place to drink away from everyone else will make them feel a lot safer if they’re stopping in for a drink. The downside of this setup is that you must take into consideration the weather and the safety of people that are drinking on your property.
Implement a Mask Rule for Your Workers (Even if Your Area Doesn’t Require it)
Some places have not yet adopted a policy for wearing masks in the workplace, but more are coming around to the idea. Don’t be a late adopter of this policy for your workers, at least. If your area doesn’t require masks, start wearing them anyway because it will put your customers’ minds at ease. Moreover, it will allow you to get ahead of the curve if a mask ordinance does come to your area. Of course, safety is always the primary motivation for wearing masks. If you do have an ordinance in place, you can’t be afraid to enforce it. Put signs on the door, turn customers away, and don’t serve those that are willing to flout the rules. Your business can’t afford to be known as a place where a “super-spreader” event took place.
Keeping your customers coming into your bar during COVID-19 is partly about taking new measures to remain safe, but it’s also about showing off what you are doing. You have to get the word out that you are safer than other establishments. Take time to update your business’ site as well as your social media pages to let everyone know that your bar is safe, your seating is spread out, and that every worker will be wearing a mask for their safety.
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