Practical tips to help get your pub, bar or hotel back to business quickly & safely
by Hugo Tilmouth, CleanedUp
Emerging from lockdown is exciting but you need to approach the coming months with due caution.
Of course you’ll need to keep a close eye on your bottom line, but you will also need to invest in health and safety measures to keep your staff and your customers safe.
A quick note on the legal requirements of reopening during a pandemic
It’s worth saying that the following tips are simply our take on getting back to business.
We urge you to review all the government guidelines in full and keep up with any changes: please click here for the current status of lockdown within the hospitality sector.
Here, some practical tips that we hope will be helpful.
Put up your assessment certificate
Once you’ve completed your covid-19 risk assessment, it’s worth displaying the government’s risk assessment certificate somewhere visible — to help put your staff and your customers’ minds at ease.
Cleaning & disinfecting
Keeping your surfaces COVID-secure is going to be a team effort.
Create a clear rota, outlining everything that needs doing.
Focus on the key surfaces that pose the most risk, such as tables, bar surfaces, food preparation areas and card machines.
Ideally, clean them after every use.
That’s why a rota is so important for organising whose responsibility that is throughout the day.
Then, create procedures that encourage cleanliness more generally.
Ask your team to disinfect the toilets as frequently as possible; keep main doors open to prevent bacteria on door handles.
If you offer food and accommodation, for example, do a deep clean after each person’s hotel stay.
Government guidelines advise that your ‘usual cleaning products’ will be sufficient.
So long as you stick to bleach or alcohol-based solutions, your efforts will be effective.
Offer hand sanitising
Hand sanitisers are a quick and easy alternative to handwashing, and provide an unbeatable solution for minimising the spread, and protecting staff and customers from COVID-19.
When picking a hand sanitiser, it’s important that it contains a WHO approved formula and is at least 60% alcohol-based.
You’ll also need to think about how the hand sanitiser is presented in your premises.
Dispensing stations, for example, near the front door, garden gate, bar and tills, will make it clear that hand sanitiser is available.
For more information on providing NHS standard hand sanitiser for your staff and customers, click here to find out how we can help.
Your staff (and customers) might feel more comfortable if they are wearing a face covering, while in close contact with people they don’t know.
Talk to your staff about how they’re feeling and make face masks available.
Be extra cautious if you employ staff to work in kitchens and/or to clean hotel rooms.
They will require standard PPE (hairnets, rubber gloves etc — outlined here) to protect them from any potential risk.
Enforce social distancing rules
Official government guidelines state that all staff and customers must keep a 1m distance (in England) and 2m (elsewhere) at all times.
To enforce social distancing measures:
● Provide 1m or 2m markers that make it clear where your customers must stand (particularly around the bar, front desk and till)
● Be mindful of the amount of staff working in one place
● Consider introducing a limit on the number of guests allowed in your pub, bar or hotel and keep some tables empty to separate groups
Staff areas should be reassessed. If it’s difficult for staff to maintain social distancing during breaks, consider closing small communal areas, and staggering break times.
Provide clear guidelines and signage
In addition to 1m or 2m markings you can use posters asking people to wash/sanitise their hands, cover their mouth when they cough, and sneeze into a tissue or their arm.
If you implement one-way systems or ban cash transactions, do all you can to make this as clear as possible, to avoid any confusion.
Manage the risk of transmission
When, or if, 1 or 2 metre distancing isn’t possible, you should do all you can to manage the risk of transmission.
This means providing alternative and new ways of working that put the safety of your staff and customers first.
Is your bar area small and easily crowded? If so, definitely consider allowing only 1 person at a time to approach for an order.
If your premises aren’t big enough for the usual number of staff, create a fair rota that avoids overcrowding.
Consistently monitor employee health (and general circumstances)
Check in with your staff daily, and ask about their health and general circumstances.
If a team member is unwell, or if someone in their household has symptoms, take immediate action and grant them sick leave.
Remember, when we overcome Covid-19, we’ll have done so together.
About the author
Hugo Tilmouth is founder of CleanedUp, a spin-off of ChargedUp, Europe’s largest phone charging network.
CleanedUp is focused on stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus by providing a network of hand sanitising dispensing stations in key locations across the country.