With the current virus crisis changing so quickly, it’s easy for a business to misstep and do things that are detrimental to their business and community if not properly prepared. We can’t provide any specifics of what a business should do, other than stay informed with updates from local health departments. But we can provide some common sense business considerations every company should remember during this time of crisis. These apply to any crisis, but particularly in a time like this when everyone is on edge and things are changing rapidly.
• Check to make sure you don’t do anything tone-deaf or non-compassionate with marketing, events, or new products. Pay particular attention to things that people are specifically sensitive to at the present time. Check your schedule for anything pre-scheduled to make sure it still fits. Don’t be afraid to cancel or suspend plans.
• Consider any changes to your business practices to meet current issues. For example — many coffee shops no longer allow refillable coffee mugs. Tap rooms might consider no longer offering growler fills. Take a look at events that might not fit the current times.
• Double down on cleanliness, let customers see you are doing this. Bar tops, door handles, bar stools, etc. Sanitize surfaces often.
• Remind servers of common hygiene things that may get a little lax at busy times, washing hands when switching between money and product handling, dipping the tap in the beer while double handed filling of glasses, refilling glasses, grabbing ice by hand, etc.
• Don’t try to be the CDC on social media or other communications. Direct people to their local or state health department for information on the crisis.
• Reassure customers, if they ask. Explain the extra cleaning routines that are there to keep customers and staff safe.
• Order a few large bottles of hand sanitizer and set them in places customers and staff are free to access. Keep them stocked.
• Stay informed, and react in a timely manner. As things change quickly and are very location specific, business owners should check often with their local and state health department web sites for any specific requirements, best practices, and suggestions needed to respond to the crisis.
Have any other considerations we missed? Feel free to post to our Front of House forum to discuss.