There’s always a risk of transmitting colds and flu when you have a group of people together – and the restaurant industry is no exception. Flu season results in losses for restaurants because of staff absences and lost productivity. Unfortunately, during the cold and flu season, your staff and customers will be passing germs to one another. In this blog, we take a look at what you can do to ensure you keep a healthy restaurant.
Although hand sanitisers are somewhat effective, there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned soap and water when it comes to preventing the spread of viruses. It’s important for restaurant staff to thoroughly wash their hands as often as possible and for a duration of at least 20 seconds. This means washing between fingers, under fingernails and around wrists.
Germs are also spread through contact with surfaces that many people touch throughout the day. Viruses can live for long periods on your PoS system and other electronic equipment such as computer keyboards. In fact, they can be found on anything from doorknobs to counters, light switches, chair tops, tables, appliance handles and kitchen equipment. It’s important to clean these surfaces with disinfectant. Extra care should be taken during the cold and flu season to wipe down every surface.
The flu vaccine is cost-effective and widely available. There are clear benefits to having employees vaccinated, so you should encourage your staff to get the vaccination. You could also consider providing your employees with information about where they can get the vaccination and the cost involved.
While absenteeism is a big problem for many restaurants, presenteeism is even worse. Staff who come to work when they have flu symptoms are likely to infect others and compound the problem. They could also make your customers sick. Encourage staff to monitor their own symptoms. If they are sick, they should stay at home for their own good and that of everyone else.
Unfortunately, fast-spreading viruses like the coronavirus are a reality that might affect your restaurant. Reassure customers (via social media, newsletter or a printed sign perhaps) that you are taking all proper health and safety precautions. Being proactive will help to assure your customers and staff.
The restaurant industry will be severely affected by this pandemic. But there are some steps you can put in place to limit the damage that it will cause to your establishment. For more information on how restaurants can deal with the pandemic, check out our blog on crisis management.
Author : Rudi Badenhorst