COVID-Secure Restaurant Equipment to Give Your Customers Confidence
It is important when you are developing your “new normal” operating strategy that you have plans in place to give your customers confidence that your restaurant is a safe environment and as “COVID-secure” as possible. In our latest TAG Insight we take a look at some of the restaurant and kitchen equipment that will be useful to help you become COVID-secure, but also ensure your customers are happy knowing you’re doing everything you possibly can to keep them safe.
Some options available have been well documented, such as mobile ordering and payments, or facemasks for staff, so we have tried to cover equipment you perhaps have not considered.
If you want to discuss any of the below strategies, products or adjustments you need to make to help create a COVID-secure kitchen or restaurant, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Signage – Make It Clear
One of the best things you can do is provide signage and make it clear the to your customers the steps you have taken.
But it is important to ensure that any signage you implement does not change the design or aesthetics of your dining space. A big appeal of your restaurant is the experience customers have, so “on brand” signage is important.
From instructions when entering the building, to floor markings and window displays, giving a clear indication of the measures you are taking will undoubtedly give diners confidence. Try and include these measures in your marketing too; start the messaging to help generate demand.
We can help design and implement specialist, hygiene safe signage for both front-of-house and back-of-house so do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.
HyGenikx Air and Surface Sterilisation units
One of the most unique pieces of equipment that you can consider is the HyGenikx air and surface sterilisation wall-mounted units.
Suitable for all areas including dining spaces, kitchens, restrooms and offices, the HyGenikx hygiene amplification system is a simple plug-and-play unit that uses advanced sterilisation technologies to target and kill biological hazards including Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Norovirus.
It has been proven to eradicate MS-2 coliphage (a surrogate for Norovirus) which is a non-enveloped virus and is more difficult to kill than the lipid-enveloped SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus/COVID-19).
Placing these around your restaurant will give your customers a visual clue that you have taken their safety seriously, particularly in areas such as toilets where social distancing is not always possible and there are lots of contact points.
Find out more about the HyGenikx air and surface sterilisation system here including how to buy and pricing, which starts at £275+VAT per unit.
Mobile Hand Wash Basins
Hand washing has always been a message from the UK Government as a way of preventing the spread of Coronavirus. However, washing hands naturally relies on a sink with access to water and waste. This can be costly and difficult to incorporate into a restaurant space.
What is more, if waiting and kitchen staff are encouraged to keep washing their hands, but this is not in view of customers, how will customers know it is being done?
Several manufacturers have released mobile hand wash basins. These require no mains water or waste. Instead, they utilise containerised water and waste tanks. Therefore, they can be placed anywhere in restaurants and be visible to customers, so that they can see your staff actively taking their own hygiene precaution seriously.
What is more, with the promotion of al-fresco dining, placing these at waiting staff stations outside will further enhance your image of optimum personal hygiene.
Customisation options included vinyl wrapping and fabrication to match the aesthetic of your restaurant.
Need advice making your kitchen or restaurant COVID-secure?
Mobile Hand Sterilisers
Like mobile hand wash basins, there are several mobile hand sterilising units that can be used within the entrance space.
Many restaurants will be insisting that guests sterilise on entry of the premises, however, the odd bottle of steriliser on a table will not provide the right perception or ease of use.
By investing in mobile and branded hand sanitising units, they can be incorporated into the design of the restaurant, whilst serving a vital purpose.
Also consider a unit which either uses a sensor and battery to dispense the hand sanitising fluid or a foot or arm operated unit. This will save your guests having to fully touch the unit helping to further keep them safe.
Table Screens and Dividers
Although the 1m+ rule has been implemented it is still best practice to implement a 2m social distancing rule. This is proven to significantly reduce the risk of transmission. However, we all know that this will impact on the number of covers and revenue of the restaurant.
Therefore, implementing table screens or dividers will help mitigate risk on the 1m+ rule, but also give your diners confidence that they are protected from other guests.
But dividers do not need to be ugly, cumbersome sheets of plastic. They can be branded or styled to match the restaurant décor and aesthetic, helping to limit the impact on the experience you have developed and your customers love.
Also, consider utilising mobile screen dividers so that larger parties can be accommodated and segregated as larger dining groups may be frowned upon by other guests.
It is important to ensure these dividers are regularly cleaned and appear to be clean so that guests know the dividers are doing a good job.
We can work with you to design and install bespoke screens both in the main restaurant space and in the kitchen, whilst maintaining the aesthetics of the restaurant. Get in touch to discuss further.
Temperature monitoring has been well documented in the press as a way of detecting whether someone has contracted Coronavirus but is not showing outward symptoms.
It is therefore important to ensure you regularly take the temperatures of your staff and make it clear to your guests this happens, particularly through any marketing you do.
There are several temperature monitoring equipment such as hand-held units, but there are also built in camera systems that you can use at the entrance of your restaurant.
This will help check the temperatures of your guests who are just as likely to have a high temperature as your staff. Although costly, these are less intrusive systems than hand-held units but ultimately will give confidence that anyone dining in your restaurant will not be a risk to other quests.
You could also consider a system that requires the input of contact details, so that you have a record of guests, in line with current government guidelines and expectations.
Need help deciding which equipment to buy become COVID-secure?
COVID-Secure Accreditation Schemes
The term “COVID-secure” means different things to different organisations. And whilst you can follow government guidelines, you need to try and provide evidence to your customers that all boxes have been ticked.
By signing up to an independent accreditation scheme that audits your procedures and recognises the commitment you have made, it will give customers a huge boost knowing you are doing everything you can to keep them safe.
Of course, all these accreditation schemes are new, so there is no knowing which schemes will become most popular or the industry standard. So, if you choose a scheme, use one from a brand that people already recognise.
Here are several schemes that we have found:
- AA Covid Confident – ideal for hotels, restaurants, and pubs
- VisitBritain “We’re Good to Go” – particularly ideal for pubs with the Cask Marque “Safe Pub” and “Stay Safe” scheme for pubs with rooms
- Quality in Tourism Safe, Clean & Legal™ – ideal for all accommodation providers and backed by the Hotel Booking Agents Association
- Food Alert COVID-19 Standard – open to all hospitality operators, from UKHospitality’s Safety Provider.
If you are part of a larger chain of restaurants or hotels, you could of course create your own branded scheme, however, this does not have the added benefit of the third-party audit.
Think Michelin Guide or AA Rosette but for your COVID-secure protection measures.
Equipment to help you become COVID-secure…
We hope our selection of equipment has provided some insight into the measures you might need to take to become COVID-secure.
We know that there are many different types of equipment (and even more than listed above) but the above are what we think are most critical, especially to give your customers confidence.
If you have any questions or queries on adaptations, you want to make to your restaurant or kitchen, then please do not hesitate to get in touch using the form below or call in 01920 877007.