The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief when Boris Johnson announced the reopening of restaurants and cafes on July 4th, but while joe public is chomping at the bit to get a break from their kitchen or a proper cup of coffee for the first time in months, for those working in the industry, there’s a lot of work to be done.
The announcement came on June 23rd, leaving less than two weeks for restaurant and cafe owners to implement all the necessary COVID-safe measures to keep themselves and their customers safe.
So, to help, we’ve put together an in-depth guide to everything you’ll need to know before your grand re-opening, let’s get stuck in.
In documents issued by the government, there are steps outlined for businesses to follow to ensure the safety of everyone involved from July 4th. Three of these steps can be implemented by restaurants and cafes, so let’s take a look at what’s involved:
The two-metre social distancing rule will be replaced by a one-metre-plus rule but where possible a two-meter distance should be maintained. Confused? Essentially, this means the two-metre rule remains unless it’s physically impossible to abide by, in which case you are responsible for doing everything possible to minimise the risk of COVID-transmission, such as:
Where you can maintain the two-metre rule, enforce it using strategies like:
No doubt you’re all too aware of the importance of handwashing and thorough sanitisation already, but here are some actionable things to implement:
Just as you’d need to carry out a risk assessment in line with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulations under ordinary circumstances, before reopening after lockdown you should ensure the health and safety of your workforce by conducting a health and safety assessment.
As well as the above guidance, the government has released information pertaining solely to restauranteurs, so here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to prepare for:
Within the government’s guidelines it’s stipulated that indoor restaurants may only operate with table service, and if possible with a reduced workforce. Besides the traditional pen and paper approach - which mightn’t necessarily be the safest option right now - here are a few suggestions for how to make table service work in the safest way possible:
As a restaurant owner, you will be required to collect customer data so in the event of a local outbreak this information can be used to contain the spread further. Here are three ideas of how you might go about gathering this kind of information:
Requirements for cafes are as follows:
Since human contact is being kept to a minimum and the World Health Organisation is warning businesses against handling notes and coins where possible, customer payment in cash doesn’t sound like the best option.
You may have noticed in the guidelines for both restaurants and cafes was ‘contactless card payments are encouraged’, and this is because it’s shown to be the safest way to collect payment.
Thanks to near field technology, contactless payment doesn't require any contact between payer, payee, and machine, so the chance of any germs being spread is kept to an absolute minimum.
The limit on contactless card payments has recently been increased to £45, and unsurprisingly, throughout the pandemic, consumers have adopted this new limit at a staggering rate - hygiene and safety are at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and consumers are likely to stick to restaurants and cafes they deem as safe and secure, so offering contactless payments is a great place to start.
For cafes, the £45 limit may be high enough for most transactions, whereas restaurants likely deal with higher sums more regularly. The good news is, Apple and Android Pay - both of which are contactless methods of payment - have no cap on spending, so customers can order to their heart’s content and still feel safe and secure when paying.
Top tip: if your customer spends more than £45 and doesn’t have Apple or Android Pay set up, allowing chip & pin payment isn’t forbidden, just don’t forget to disinfect your card machine following each use.
Looking to start accepting card payments? You’ve got options:
Likely the most popular option amongst restauranteurs, portable machines carry a 50-metre range allowing you to take the machine to the customer’s table for payment. The base is plugged into the mains and the terminal is powered using Bluetooth technology, they’re also:
Countertop machines do exactly what they say on the tin - sit on your countertop or till point - making them the machine of choice for many cafes and take-outs. They plug directly into your broadband or phone line and come packed with all the latest technology and features, plus:
Mobile machines can accept payments on the go - perfect if you offer a delivery or takeaway service. They use 3G technology via a sim card (just like a mobile phone) and:
Here at takepayments, all of our market-leading card machines - portable, countertop, and mobile - are set up to accept contactless payments as standard. That includes both card payments up to £45 plus Apple and Android Pay, so you and your customers can rest assured your payments are COVID-secure with us.
To learn more about our machines, or for some help deciding which one is the best fit for your restaurant or cafe business, get in touch with one of our friendly experts today.