How You Can Use Café Barriers to Maintain Social Distancing
It seems that the world will be dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future. People will need to maintain social distancing for at least the next year, and so shop owners will need to take proactive steps to keep their patrons safe.
Food shops and certain home supply stores already have experience in this strange new world. As a more extensive array of retail businesses are given the green light to open, they need to learn how to enact social distancing measures of their own.
Tape marks on the floor and caution tape are two popular ways to keep customers in check, but we think that café barriers could be the unsung heroes of pandemic retail fixtures. Café barriers delineate clear lines on the floor and outside your shop. They give patrons no doubt about where they should and should not stand, thereby minimising health risks. Also, they demonstrate that you are a conscientious retailer that cares about your customers, and wants to help defeat this illness.
We think that café barriers will be of use for many different purposes during this particular period in human history. Check out our guidance on how to maintain social distancing in and around your retail space. How can you use café barriers and other materials to keep your patrons safe while they shop?
How to enforce social distancing in your queue
- Set a strict limit for the number of customers who are allowed inside your shop at one time. Find guidance on how to calculate the safe amount of people inside your shop in this useful article, linked here. You need enough space inside for people to be 2m from each other at all times.
- Use café barriers to create a visible barrier that shows people the safe places to queue outside, and keeps them separated from each other.
- Set up clear signage around the entrance to your store that explains the social distancing measures you have put in place.
- Use café barriers to place markings around the store and assist in queue spacings.
- If possible, designate different doors for exit and entry points to limit people passing by one another in close proximity.
- Work together with the businesses nearby to designate appropriate queuing areas so that customers don’t get confused.
- See if you can organise contact-free stock deliveries.
- If your shop is located in a shopping centre, speak with centre management to organise queue management and avoid congestion. If they don’t suggest café barriers, ask them to get in touch with our team here at Red17. We have been helping businesses large and small across the UK to organise their queues with our wide array of products.
- You might need to hire additional staff to monitor and facilitate the queues.
Keeping your shop hygienic and clean
- Make sure you offer your customers a cleaning station at the front of the store that includes hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes/spray for all trollies and basket handles.
- Identify and consistently clean all regularly handled touch points, including lift buttons, escalator and staircase handrails, keypads, door handles and ATMs.
How to maintain social distancing inside your shop
- Have a clear plan in place about what your management will do if and when a customer won’t follow the established social distancing measures you have put in place. Everyone should know what to do and exactly when to put the plan into action.
- Utilise floor markings or café barrier to encourage compliance with all social distancing advice, helping people to stay 2 metres from one another, especially in the till queue area.
- Erect clear signage throughout your shop, reminding customers that they should stay 2 metres away from other people and wear a mask when indoors.
- Go over your store layout to ensure that your aisles are marked. If necessary, block off some of the aisles to ensure 2m social distancing. You might need to remove some of your promotional fixtures to make room.
- One-way systems can help people stay separated, even in tight quarters.
- If you have many tills all in a row, you should close every other till point to ensure that customers and staff can safely separate. This is also a must for self-serve tills.
- You should leave all possible doors open to ensure a regular flow of air, which has been proven to reduce the risk of the virus. This advice does not apply to fire exits.
- When possible set up, click and collect points that allow people to grab their orders without having to spend that much time indoors. You can set up a collection point outdoors using café barriers.
- Restrict access to lifts, and only allow access upon request to customers with reduced mobility.
- Do all of your restocking and replenishing outside of store opening hours so that staff members do not impede the access of customers, putting their health at risk and causing congestion.
- Limit or restrict the use of cash and ask for contactless payment.
- Consistently wipe down self-checkout touch screens and all payment keypads.
How to deal with your staff and customer toilets
- With customer spending less and less time in shops, now might be a good time to close customer toilets completely, except in emergencies. If you do decide to keep them open, ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised regularly.
- Ensure that your baby changing facilities are cleaned and sanitised regularly, and extra sanitary wipes are on hand.
- Regularly communicate Covid-19 best practice, as well as their rights as workers at this time.
How to maintain social distancing in your staff common areas
- Your staff members should be trained in how to keep at least 2m distance from customers and other staff members. They should feel free to speak up when they think that their safety is in danger.
- Encourage your staff to enjoy their break time and lunches outdoor whenever possible.
- As usual, all staff members should be encouraged to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice) as often as possible.
- You should provide ample hand sanitiser to your employees.
- Provision of hand sanitiser at entry/exit points.
- Any employees who exhibit any symptoms of the virus should be encouraged to take time off.
- Implement staggered and/or extended break rotas to prevent crowding in staff common areas.
The Red17 team has many years of experience selling café barriers. We have to admit that we never thought we would need them for this purpose, but we are well-versed in all of the ways that they can help businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you have any questions at all, please get in contact with our expert team. We can provide guidance on the best café barriers for your business and help you with suggestions for how they can be used for social distancing. Let us know whatever we can do to help you equip yourself during this time.
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