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COVID-19: What can food places do?

Firstly, we’d like to say another huge thank you to the people on the frontline working tirelessly, around the clock in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. To everyone doing their part, staying at home, we’d like to thank you also and we hope you’re taking care of yourself and those around you.

COVID-19 has impacted us in many ways, bringing distress and disruption into our lives. All non-essential businesses have been forced to shut their doors for a while now. However, a lot of local food places are still open, continuing to serve us takeaway meals through collection and delivery. What advice can we give you?

COVID-19 and Food

It is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus (COVID-19) through food. However, food places should still be following strict hygiene practices at all times, for the safety of themselves and their customers. This includes washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water at regular intervals. It also includes frequent cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and surfaces.

Employees who feel unwell should not be at work, they should stay at home. If any customer or delivery driver displays symptoms they should not be allowed into the shop to collect food. There is a .zip file that can be downloaded here, published by Public Health England, containing various material for hygiene practices for the public. It includes:

  • Posters 
  • DOOH
  • Website banners
  • Social media animations
  • Radio advertisement
  • Pull up banner

This is very useful to have up and around the shop just to remind employees and customers of hygiene practices they should be following.

Social Distancing

Social distancing rules apply to everyone, this includes businesses. Both internally and externally you should try your utmost to maintain a 2m distance from the next closest individual.

If your establishment is open for takeaway collection you should:

  • Regulate entry at all times to ensure your shop does not get overcrowded
  • Where possible lay down markers to indicate the distance customers should be keeping from each other (2m)
  • Try to make regular announcements to customers to remind them of social distancing rules
  • Remind customers that if they’re feeling unwell they should not be inside endangering others – they should be at home
  • If possible provide an area where customers can wash their hands or use hand sanitizer

Takeaways offering a pick-up service

Takeaways should be taking orders either by telephone or online. If customers are picking up their orders, ensure that you give instructions for them only to enter the premises once their order is ready for collection. Remind customers to maintain a 2m distance between themselves and the next closest individual. This should help stop overcrowding.

Contactless payments should be encouraged. As the name suggests and we’re all familiar with – this minimises unnecessary contact.

Similarly, with delivery drivers, they should only enter the premises once the order is ready for collection. They too must follow social distancing rules and adhere to any markings or measures you have in place to protect both the customers and delivery drivers whilst picking up orders.

Let your customers know you’re available online via an Instagram Story.

Take your business online

If you own a takeaway you should be on a food delivery service, such as Just Eat, Uber Eats or Deliveroo. This makes it accessible for your customers, they do not have to leave their homes to enjoy their food. If you are on one of the above-mentioned services, let your customers know on social media. You will save them from taking a trip, that does not need to be made. Inform customers who are ordering over the phone and collecting it themselves, that you are available online.

Online services such as Uber Eats are encouraging local restaurants to make the move online, even waiving sign up fees to join. They have made the process to join faster and more streamlined, so you can get online and start getting food to your customers quicker.

Online food delivery couriers are also informed to practice good hygiene and social distancing, so it won’t sound like an alien language when you ask them to stand 2m apart from the next person. They also have “contact-less” and “leave at the door” measures in place when delivering food to your customers.

Stay Connected

Last but not least, make sure you stay connected with your customers through social media. You’ve probably heard us on numerous occasions, say how powerful a tool it can be. Now more than ever, social media is proving to be the difference-maker for businesses. If you’re changing your opening hours, let your customers know. Even a simple post now and then, asking how everyone is doing and reminding everyone to stay home and look after themselves, goes a long way.

You will be providing meals for key workers, at-risk people and locals who love your food. Everyone will be more than happy to show you the love back through engagement on social media.

If you or anyone you know has a business and is struggling to deliver their products or service, please feel free to get in touch via hello@theiirthcompany.com and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.

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