As the COVID-19 vaccines roll out and the restrictions on our lives begin to ease, we can look forward to those much-missed meals out with our family and friends again.
But what do restaurants need to do to make us feel safe when we’re eating out?
All the evidence has shown that gathering together indoors for meals is one of the riskiest things you can do. Potential infection rates are as much as 20 times higher than when you’re outside. Restaurants are cosy and intimate spaces. People sit close to each other for hours, drinking and talking loudly over background music, often without fresh air circulating.
That’s an ideal environment for super-spreading the airborne transmission of COVID-19.
Before the pandemic, when people picked a restaurant for a night out, they focused on how good the food might be, and the atmosphere and perhaps the interior design. Now, their priorities will be “safety first“. Not just food safety, but COVID safety too.
Restaurants are going to have to make significant changes to build confidence and trust. If diners see that restaurants are focused on their safety, they’ll come back far more quickly we believe.
“Safety” is now the top trend in hospitality.
What Can Restaurants Do?
Whenever people gather together indoors, they are at greater risk of COVID-19 transmission. Here are the steps restaurants can take to make their customers feel safer.
- Redesign – make more space between the tables
- Install – put up partitions and Perspex barriers to catch airborne droplets
- Go Outside if possible – encourage outdoor dining with space heaters and awnings
- Mask Up – Serving staff must mask up – and the diners, when they’re not eating
- Turn It Down – talking over loud music increases droplet transmission
- Open The Windows – changing the air frequently makes all the difference
Go Cashless – reduce physical transmission with no-touch payment systems
Hand Sanitising – Hand sanitisers need to be refilled and in good working order
Cleaning Regime – have clear signage detailing what you are doing to ensure safety
Remember how we used to handle secondhand smoke? Start doing that again.
Better ventilation systems will also help, while insisting on reservations will control capacity and ensure that “track and trace” protocols will be more effective.
How Can Ultraviolet Light Help?
Many restaurants have already invested in ultraviolet light sterilisers to strengthen their cleaning procedures.
This is a tried and trusted technique, used in hospitals for decades, capable of destroying the genetic material of dangerous viruses like measles, TB, COVID-19, and all other bacterial hazards.
Restaurants now use this hospital-grade method in portable devices like the Muv-X Room Steriliser, which emits powerful ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) in controlled doses.
Simple to use, mobile and adaptable for different room sizes and settings, it offers an extra layer of protection to add to standard deep-cleaning procedures, with a 99.9999% sterilisation rate.
It’s particularly helpful in cleansing high-contact areas like counters, tables and chairs, and other items that can’t be washed easily, like menus and Point-of-Sale devices. Its also important to emphasise that it is chemical free.
Restaurants that use every protection method, including UVGI, will win their diners’ trust and confidence more quickly than those who ignore it.
What Can UVGI Do For A Restaurant?
- Sterilise: Positioning and operating a Muv-X Portable Room Steriliser in a dining area or kitchen after closing time will ensure all visible areas achieve a 99.9999% sterilisation rate.
- Flexible: Use it in dining areas, bathrooms, walk-in freezers and food processing areas.
- Chemical-free: Reduce dependence on cleaning chemicals that can harm the environment
People can’t wait to get back to restaurants and socialising. It’s so important that restaurants implement proper safety measures and sanitizing strategies so that they can reopen safely – and make sure that they’re not forced to shut down again if Covid cases rise!