Singaporeans are defined by our collective love for food while our little red dot is also a treasure trove of yummy dishes from all over the world.
Alas, things have not been the same for restaurants ever since the pandemic. In a survey conducted by Chope, it was found that 93% of the respondents faced a decline in revenue and 80% had to reduce manpower to cut costs.
Luckily, the situation has improved as restrictions eased but with the pandemic still raging on, restaurants have to continue adapting and adopting new practices to provide customers with a safe dining experience.
Here are eight practices restaurants should consider adopting to give your customers extra assurance – read on to find out more.
1. Disinfect shared objects after every use
Did you know that menus harbour more germs and bacteria than any other surfaces in a restaurant? In fact, the bacteria count can go as high as 185,000 per square centimetre, which is far more than a toilet seat!
Hence, using a surface disinfectant spray to kill germs and other harmful pathogens on menus as well as other shared objects like tables and chairs helps to ensure that your customers dine in a healthy and safe environment. This also prevents the spread of illnesses from one customer to another.
2. Place hand sanitisers at high-contact areas
Just like how disinfecting shared objects after every use is important, providing your customers with hand sanitisers, especially at high-contact areas is also crucial to prevent the spread of germs.
Some high-contact areas in restaurants include restrooms and front-of-house such as dining tables and counters. There are about 200 million bacteria per square inch on each hand after visiting a bathroom, which can easily spread to other shared objects and surfaces if proper washing of hands is not done prior to leaving the restroom. Thus, placing hand sanitisers in these high-contact areas will encourage your customers to use them before they start eating.
3. Provide food contact wipes
Cutlery that gets hand washed or run through a dishwasher may appear to look clean but may still hold remnants of nasty residue that the naked eye cannot see. This is because certain food items, especially oil and dairy, act as a barrier between your cutlery and cleaning products; neutralising the power of your dishwashing liquid.
To ensure that your cutlery is ultra-clean and will not cause your customers to fall sick, consider providing them with food contact antibacterial wipes that can be used to eliminate bacteria and germs before they use it. These wipes are made using 100% food-grade ingredients that are safe to use on items that will come into contact with the mouth.
4. Provide antiseptic wipes
Additionally, you may consider providing your customers with antiseptic wipes too so that they can use them to disinfect their hands before and after eating.
Customers who are apprehensive about using hand sanitisers due to their drying effect may be more open to using antiseptic wipes that are water-based and alcohol-free, yet equally effective at eliminating germs.
5. Introduce QR code menus
If manpower and crunch-time are concerns your restaurant has when it comes to using a surface disinfectant spray, an alternative is to introduce QR code menus instead to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria through physical menus.
Simply leave a printed version of the QR code on the table and get your customers to scan it to assess the menu via their phones. However, it is also worth noting that disinfecting the tables and chairs after each use is still necessary for greater peace of mind.
6. Place utensils in pouches
While providing food contact antibacterial wipes is a great way to encourage your customers to use them, some may still find it a chore to do so.
Hence, the next best thing your restaurant can do is to place utensils in paper pouches instead of directly on the table to shield them from air droplets. You can still include a food contact antibacterial wipe for customers who prefer disinfecting their utensils before using them.
7. Introduce a rule – the compulsory sanitisation of hands
It is impossible for restaurants to ascertain whether a customer has sanitised their hands before eating. But providing hand sanitisers at the entrance and getting customers to use them before entering will greatly reduce the chances of germs and bacteria from spreading.
Gently remind your customers to use the hand sanitiser provided while checking their SafeEntry records before ushering them into the premises.
8. Allow contactless payment methods
Lastly, restaurants may want to allow contactless payment methods for greater convenience too. This can be done through an app to reduce face-to-face interactions between your staff and customers, or through cashless payments that do not require the exchanging of bills and coins.
The pandemic has resulted in a drastic decline in cash usage due to contamination so there is no excuse for you to not adopt this new practice.
Get your kitchen hygiene products and disinfectants from Freshening Industries
We provide a range of surface disinfectant sprays, hand sanitisers and antiseptic and antibacterial wipes that will come in handy during your restaurant’s day-to-day operations. These are key products to stock up on so that your customers can enjoy a safe dining experience.