Bars and restaurants feel the pressure of enforcing social distancing guidelines the most as industries across the globe start resuming operations. However, it is not yet business-as-usual for most establishments. Some workers might still feel uncomfortable working in the restaurant. So talk to your team and let them know that you value their opinions.
Here are some other things you need to consider as you slowly prepare to re-open amidst this pandemic.
A café in Germany used hats with pool noodles attached to illustrate how far apart people need to be. Meanwhile, a restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland, used inner tubes as “bumper tables” to keep patrons from getting too close to each other.
These are just a couple of ways that restaurants are coming up with to maintain strict social distancing guidelines as restaurants across the globe slowly start opening up. Take a cue from them and see how you can incorporate something unique about your place into your post-pandemic guidelines. You can always opt for simple tools, like shower curtains or plastic shields, to divide your space, but a little creativity on your part would add more fun and would put your customers at ease.
Additionally, try to incorporate natural elements in your indoor seating as you reduce your capacity. Where you used to have tables practically next to each other, use a potted plant in between as you space them out. You could also use small or medium-sized sculptures, but plants would add to that feeling of calmness and tranquility that you’d want to evoke during these trying times.
Let There Be Light
Now would also be an excellent time to check your lighting fixtures. Lighting features in commercial establishments often overlook aesthetics and focus on technicalities. With the new physical distancing guidelines, you’re going to have to re-evaluate the way you light up your space.
Try the Uplighting Trick
These are often used at events places, but if you own a smaller establishment, this idea could be of great value to you. This technique shines the lights upwards to the ceiling, creating an illusion of a bigger space. Wall scones are perfect for this type of lighting, but if you have the budget for it, you can also talk to commercial lighting experts about installing light directly from the floor. This way, you can also use the floor lights as part of your social distancing measures.
Place Mirrors Strategically
Mirrors are your best friend. Placing them in strategic places to reflect the light would help make your space feel bigger. Experiment with various areas in your restaurant, as well as different times of the day. Morning light can cause a harsh glare from certain angles but might be good during the evening.
Make Use of Your Social Media Channels
Social media should be another one of your best friends during this time. It’s a great way to keep your customers informed of all the ways you are ensuring their safety. We’re sure you’re taking your restaurant opening in phases, and your loyal patrons would want to be part of every step. Advise them of possible wait times for your in-dining options. Let them know of any sale or promos that you are doing to make sure you’re adhering to guidelines set by your local government.
The restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit during this pandemic, and we can’t blame you for wanting to re-open as soon as possible. One final tip: Be prepared to deal with irate customers. Your customers were in quarantine, just as you were, and some of them might be impatient to go back to the same level of service that you provided them pre-pandemic. Stay calm and try not to escalate the situation. You and your workers’ safety is just as important as theirs.