Take-Out/Drive-Thru ScoreCard

I was speaking with a buddy of mine yesterday, he is a Franchise Business Consultant for a national burger chain. He mentioned to me that some of his franchisee’s don’t want him in the restaurants right now.

The franchisees don’t want their above store leaders in their restaurants because they don’t want to risk exposing their employees or restaurant to someone that is outside the team and whom could be sick.

I think this is absolutely the correct thing to do. An FBC or Area Manager that is visiting restaurants in their patch, at this time, is more of a liability than a resource. If the FBC/Area Manager is an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19, and they spread the virus to their restaurants through regular site visits, they could very publicly shut down their entire patch.

Click here to read my blog on the subject: Area Managers Should Stop Visiting Their Restaurants During the COVID-19 Crisis

Scorecard

In response to this dilemma that many FBC’s and Area Manager’s are facing right now, OpsAnalitica has developed our Take-Out/Drive-Thru Scorecard. This scorecard is a scored comprehensive review of the entire take-out/drive-thru experience:

  • Starts with how you ordered your food
  • Takes your thought the pick-up process
  • Paying for the meal
  • Looks at Sanitation standards and contactless interactions at the restaurant
  • Has you evaluate and rate the food

This scorecard can be used to identify issues in your take-out/drive-thru offering. Because it is scored it can be used to track progress over a period of time. Since take-out and drive-thru are our most important sales channels at this time, it is imperative that we are executing at a high level.

This scorecard is being added to our free COVID-19 resources, which you and your teams can use for Free through May, no strings attached. If you want to take advantage of these resources, just initiate a chat in the bottom right hand corner of this blog, and click on sales.

Document, Document, Document, everything you do around COVID-19

If you don’t document it, it didn’t happen.

The FDA has recently stated that restaurants should start Pre-Screening their employees and taking their temperatures to determine if the employee is safe to work that shift.

This is an update to current ADA procedures Section 501. This guidance was updated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I fully expect that this will change when we come out of this pandemic as it did after the SARS pandemic in 2009.

The immediate question is how should you undertake the pre-screening of employees? The larger question is what else should I be documenting around my COVID-19 response.

I’m going to argue that you document all of it.

A lot of you are sighing out loud right now because documentation is boring and a pain in the butt.

Documentation, especially when using a checklist, or checklist program, is very easy to do, because completing a checklist is self-documenting.

I’m growing increasingly concerned that COVID-19 is going to spur a lot of legal actions in the near future. I believe we are not seeing these legal actions today because of the following reasons:

  • We are all being asked to stay home and self-isolate.
  • We are in the middle of the outbreak and there is no way to figure out where or whom you got COVID-19 from.
  • These new guidances, pre-screening of employees, is brand new.
  • We haven’t had a chance to see how the negative pre-screen of an employee that is sent home for being ill conflicts with some of the more restrictive labor laws that you see in places like Seattle and California.
    • Those will probably be decided in the courts in the next couple of months.

Soon, in the next couple of weeks/months, as we are released from this mandatory self-isolation. We are going to be out and about again and the COVID-19 virus is still going to be very active.

Part of the strategy moving forward to deal with people infected with COVID-19 is going to be the practice of testing, self-isolation, and contact tracing.

I literally heard Dr. Fauci on the daily White House press conference yesterday talking about contact tracing. He was stating that the government will release the stay at home orders when:

  • When the virus is not as active in an area
  • When they have the medical supplies and hospital bandwidth to handle an outbreak.
  • When they have the contact tracing system in place.

Here is a description of Contact Tracing from the World Health Organization. A quick summary of it, is that when you get tested positive for COVID-19:

  1. Contact Identification: the government asks you to identify all the people you have been in contact with and places you have gone.
  2. Contact Listing: Identified contacts are added a list and contacted about their exposure to you. They are asked to take the appropriate medical steps.
  3. Contact Follow-up: people are tracked for symptoms etc..

Once we enter this phase of our COVID-19 response and absent any new laws that state you can’t sue a person for spreading COVID-19, which I don’t know if we’ll see, people are going to be able to trace back where they got COVID-19 from. There will be epicenters at places/events or it will be traced to people who infected a lot of other people.

If you want to see something chilling check out this Reuter’s article about patient 31 in South Korea.

I think once people can assign blame for getting COVID-19 and quantify their financial losses from being isolated or medical bills. I believe we’ll start to see a lot more law suits around this stuff.

So that is why I’m very much in support of self-documenting your COVID-19 procedures to help protect your business from potential litigation. This can be accomplished by creating checklists and forms to use in your business highlighting your procedures.

Also, remember that with any new process or documentation strategy, consistent execution will always show your commitment and due diligence. It is better to do something less times a day but to do it consistently than to require it be doe more times a day and not have 100% compliance.

Now let’s be clear, my assumption in all of this, is that you are doing the right things to protect your customers, employees, and your brand. If you are and you are documenting those steps as well, it could potentially help you in any kind of government review or legal action.

I’m not a lawyer, if you are concerned you should contact yours, but this just seems logical to me.

How can OpsAnalitica help you with this documentation?

The OpsAnalitica Platform is the ultimate Restaurant Operations and documentation platform. Our goal is always to do the following:

  1. Take the guesswork out of any process.
  2. Guide the employee through the process and identify in real-time any remediation actions.
  3. Act as a self documentation platform, storing all completed checklists digitally for review.
  4. Notifying management when a process has not been completed or critical violations were detected.

We have created an Employee Health Verification Process that you can use to document your employee COVID-19 Pre Screen questionnaire including the taking of temperatures. Also, we have a Sick Employee and Customer incident forms that you can use to record the actions your took when you identified either a sick employee or customer.

All of these forms are fully customizable and available for free through May of 2020, no strings attached. In addition, we will set your organization up for free so you can take advantage of this system immediately.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the OpsAnalitica Platform, please initiate a chat in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Order Up Podcast: Contactless Payment Is Going To Be A Must Have Moving Forward

Episode, 31 – Contactless Payment Is Going To Be A Must Have An Interview With Laurent May From Ready

We recently interviewed Laurent May from Ready To Pay. Laurent discusses the different contactless payment options that are available from their company. He gives you a sense of set-up times and costs as well.

Contactless Payment in the restaurant and a strong take-out presence are going to be Must Haves moving forward. Reducing unnecessary touch points is so important in this COVID-19 world.

Not knowing much about what is available in this space, I was surprised at how much functionality is available. Click here to learn more: www.readytopay.com/Opsanalitica

https://soundcloud.com/orderupshow/31-contactless-payment-is-going-to-be-a-must-have-an-interview-with-laurent-may-from-ready

The FDA Has Stated that you Should Take Employee Temperatures Before Their Shift

We have created a Free Employee Health Verification Process that you can use to Pre-Screen your employees. Check out this short video describing the process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iuAyTN5wU8

Here is the link to the FDA Site, you should visit this page because it has tons of secondary links to CDC guidance on everything you need to know right now.

FDA is stating that they want you to start Pre Screening employees before their shift. This should include taking the employee’s temperatures and to ask them some questions about their potential exposure to COVID-19 and how they are feeling.

Quick Tip: do this by the door, limit the employees access to the restaurant until you verify they are fit to work. If they are sick, it will be a lot less for your to disinfect.

OpsAnalitica has created a Free Employee Health Verification form that manages the Employee Pre-Screen process. If you want to start using this at your restaurants, please initiate a chat in the bottom right corner of this screen. We are making this available for Free through May.

Reduce Ops Expenses without Sacrificing Customer Satisfaction

Cutting Costs and Optimizing Field Teams

The only way we are going to make it through this COVID-19 crisis is to simultaneously cut costs while pivoting a large portion of our resources to maximize our take-out, drive-thru and delivery sales channels.

If we can do this quickly, we can adapt to the lower sales during this enforced social distancing period and conserve cash. In times like this, cash flow is king.

Also, we need to be realistic about how much of our sales are going to return when we can open our dining rooms again. The word we’re hearing from China is that people are out and about but they aren’t rushing to dine in again. Those traditional dine in sales are trickling in slowly.

One way to immediately cut costs is to optimize your Field Teams by providing them with better technology that allows them to work remotely. This will allow you to simultaneously:

  • Increase Area/District Manager patch size by 25 to 100%
  • You will get more consistent and frequent interactions with the use of technology
  • Reduce head count or shift field team members to new roles

Here is how it could work:

  1. Repurpose your current field team site visit into a self inspection that can be completed by the In-Store team using the OpsAnalitica Platform.
    1. This will be scheduled on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis depending on Area/District Manager patch size.
  2. This in-store self Inspection will be conducted by the restaurant General Manager and cover the normal touch points that an Area/District Manager would inspect in person.
    1. This Self Inspection will require a lot of mandatory photos that will be taken all around the restaurant.
  3. The Area/District Manager and the Store Manager will review this inspection together via zoom or video conference meeting.
  4. Area/District managers can coach on standards and create action plan tasks for the restaurant manager to complete.

The immediate benefits of this approach

  • The ability to reduce head count and increase patch size of remaining above store managers will cut costs.
  • An Area/District Manager could easily conduct six 1-hour Self Inspection Reviews a day.
    • At 6 reviews a day, one Area/District Manager could conduct 30 reviews a week and 120 a month.
  • Reduction in wasted travel time:
    • Cut wind shield time driving to restaurants – We’ve heard of Area/District Managers spending 25% or more of their time in a week driving to restaurants.
    • Cut travel expenses for above store leaders who have patches that require overnight/airline travel.
  • More visits: for some large franchise concepts, above store leaders only visit restaurants one time a month to one time a quarter.
  • Protect employees health and your brand.
    • We are supposed to be socially distancing, requiring an Area/District Manager to be visiting restaurants puts that person in contact with more people than they should be right now.
    • The nightmare scenario is an asymptomatic Area/District Manager visiting multiple restaurants and spreading COVID-19 requiring a very public shutdown of those locations.
  • Because these reviews are centrally managed you can easily update them and change them to match your current priorities.
    • In this rapidly changing times, I would suggest that 80% of the visit be the core inspection, and 20% might change week-to-week based on new priorities.
    • Having OpsAnalitica in the restaurants provides you with the ability to collect other data from the restaurant level.
    • Our Employee Health Verification and Temperature Form would be the next most important example.
  • An ancillary benefit will be that store managers will probably fix issues before they take the photos during their Self Inspections so they will be addressing issues proactively.
    • If an issue shows up in a picture that is an immediate coaching moment.

This is scalable above store management. It will allow companies to maintain a corporate presence at the location level, ensuring that corporate standards are being maintained while cutting costs, protecting employee health, and safe guarding the brand.

I also want to make it clear that we believe that Area/District Managers play a vital role in any restaurant company. When it is safe and appropriate to visit restaurants again they will absolutely be going back out.

This type of remote management along with less frequent site visits will allow your future field team to really focus their on-site visits on the restaurants that really need their attention, allowing your Area/District Managers to make a real impact on performance without neglecting their other stores.

Here is a quick webinar describing how this plan could work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_u015UosrQ&t=13s

During this crisis we are offering free use and set-up of the OpsAnalitica Platform. We can get you set-up for a test in a matter of 24 to 48 hours. We will also include our COVID-19 Employee Health Verification and Risk Assessment. If you would like to learn more, initiate a chat in the bottom right hand corner of this blog and select sales.

Should I Start Taking My Employees Temperatures?

Since the WHO and CDC have declared that we are in the midst of a COVID-19 Pandemic, the EEOC has allowed the taking of employee temperatures.

I recently was a panelist on a webinar hosted by the World Health Congress & The Validation Institute and I was able to discuss the taking of employee temperatures with Dr. Ian Lipkin, head of Epidemiology at Columbia University.

Dr. Lipkin stated that a person with COVID-19 might be asymptomatic so the taking of employee temps shouldn’t be the only thing you do or rely on. On the other hand, you may identify a person who has a fever who might not be aware of it. Overall, it is a worthwhile exercise.

It is so worthwhile that Burger King, McDonalds, and many other fast food restaurants are rapidly procuring thermometers to start this process.

A couple of things to consider:

  1. You should know why are you doing this?
    1. Is this to protect you from a potential future liability?
    2. Is this to stop a potentially sick employee from working today?
    3. Or Both?
  2. Where are you storing this data?
    1. Not planning on recording the temp, just checking as the employee enters the restaurant.
    2. In a Platform like OpsAnalitica.
    3. Keeping this written down on paper.
    4. How long are you planning on storing the data?
    5. This data must be kept confidential.
  3. You are allowed to ask questions about COVID-19 only, and I suggest that you do.
    1. You should definitely ask if the person has taken fever reducers in the last 24 hours.
    2. You should also ask specifically if an employee has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    3. You should ask the employee if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  4. Do you have a plan for what you are going to do if you identify a sick employee?
    1. You should document that you sent the employee home and what symptoms they were exhibiting.
    2. If a person is exhibiting symptoms today, they could have been contagious for up to a week. You should pull schedules for the last week.
    3. I would suggest that the person get a COVID-19 test and offer to pay for it if necessary.
  5. Where in your restaurant are you going to fill out this questionnaire and take their temperature?
    1. If the person has COVID-19 and they are on the line, what are the consequences of them being close to food?
    2. Doing this by the entrance door makes a lot of sense, it would be the easiest area to clean and sanitize?
  6. What kind of thermometer are you going to use?
    1. Make sure to disinfect it in between uses.
    2. Definitely use a forehead thermometer or ear. You don’t want to use an oral thermometer.
  7. Is the manager going to take the temperature or is the employee.
    1. Some thermometers are hard to take your own temperature.
    2. If a manager is going to be getting very close to an employee, they should wear a mask.
    3. Managers and employees should do their best to maintain social distancing protocols.
  8. What if an employee is coughing but doesn’t have a fever?
    1. Coughing and fever are the two main symptoms of COVID-19. I would recommend sending the employee home until their coughing stops.
  9. Do you have health insurance and Sick Leave?
    1. I believe you have to cover 14 days of sick pay for people who are diagnosed with COVID-19. You should confirm this in your state.
    2. Does your current sick leave policy create an incentive for employees to lie to you? If yes, you should correct that immediately.

We have created a health verification form to use for employees. It guides the manager through asking questions and taking temperatures. It is a part of our free COVID-19 resources.

If you are interested in learning more or taking advantage of these resources, please open a chat in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

To get some more information on the legal aspects of taking temperatures of employees you can check out these resources:

Free COVID-19 Tools From OpsAnalitica

Updated with new tools on 4/16/20

We have created Free Tools for restaurant operators to help them manage their restaurants and decrease risk during the COVID-19 crisis. As with all OpsAnalitica Processes, these are 100% customizable for your business.

To get these free tools, click on the chat bot in the bottom right hand corner of this page.

Quick Synopsis of all of the Tools:

  • COVID-19 Customer Temperature Screening: The State of California just released guidance on screening customers temperatures before allowing them to enter your restaurant. We have modified our Employee Temperature Pre-Screen process to address this new use case.
  • COVID-19 Employee Temperature Pre-Screen: The FDA Stated that they want restaurants to Pre-Screen employees for COVID-19 by taking temperatures and assessing the employees health before their shift. This process does both. Check out this Resource to learn more
  • Hourly Disinfectant Schedule: This checklist is meant to be customized to your locations and provides a great starting point for creating a routine restaurant disinfecting process. Focusing on Human Touch Points.
  • Risk Evaluations (Full Service & QSR): These risk assessments guide you through the different potential virus transmission risk points in your operations and provides you with a clear understanding of how to mitigate those risks. See the video below.
  • Sick Employee & Customer Incident Logs: These logs will allow you to document any sick customer or employee incidents in your locations. Documenting your COVID-19 procedures will protect your location and your brand, to learn more check out this blog: Document, Document, Document, everything you do around COVID-19
  • Take-out/Drive-Thru Scorecard: A lot of Field Team Managers are unable to visit their restaurants today because of COVID-19. This Scorecard will allow those team members to grade the restaurants on how they are doing from a take-out/drive-thru perspective without having to enter the restaurant.

We have created additional tools for restaurant companies that will allow them to effectively scale their above store leader’s patch sizes and have effective interactions with their restaurant remotely, to learn more check out this blog: Reduce Ops Expenses without Sacrificing Customer Satisfaction

One of the most important tools on this list is the Employee Health Verification Process. This process is bullet proof and it guides your manager through the taking of the temperature and the asking of a few key questions about the employees potential exposure to COVID-19.

Here is a quick video that shows the process in action:

https://youtu.be/0iuAyTN5wU8

If you have any questions about this content or if you would like to get access to our free COVID-19 tools. Please access the chat bot in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Check out our blog on New Front Of The House Sanitation Standards In A Social Distancing World

New Front Of The House Sanitation Standards In A Social Distancing World

On April 1, 2020, we hosted a webinar about the New FOH changes that are going to be required for restaurants in a COVID-19 world.

Below is the full presentation about the changes that are coming for restaurants. This presentation takes you through 3 main steps in mitigating risk and increasing consumer confidence.

  1. Conducting a Risk Assessment
  2. New FOH Sanitation Standards
  3. Sanitation Theater

https://youtu.be/aDLI5bGOeKs

If you have any questions about this content or if you would like to get access to our free COVID-19 tools. Please access the chat bot in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Check out our blog on Free COVID-19 Tools from OpsAnalitica

New FDA Guidance on Face Masks for Restaurant Employees

The FDA has updated their guidance on restaurant employees wearing face masks while working. I’m going to post the link and the direct text from the FDA’s site below to save you some time.

If you want to learn more about how to wear the masks and keep them clean, the 3rd bullet point below will take you to the CDC’s site that has more info.

This is the link to the FDA’s site, Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

In the first response under the Questions and Answers for Industry Section – Social Distancing, Disinfecting & Other Precautions

Should Employers in retail food and food production settings wear face coverings to prevent exposure to COVID-19 Posted 4/42020

On April 3, the CDC released an updated recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  CDC recommends the use of simple cloth face coverings as a voluntary public health measure in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). 

For workers on farms, and in food production, processing, and retail settings who do not typically wear masks as part of their jobs, consider the following if you choose to use a cloth face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19:

NOTE:  The cloth face coverings recommended by CDC are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Creating a World Class Sanitation Program for your Business in the COVID-19 Era

Quick answers to common questions

I’m going to continue to update this section with new answers to questions as we get them. So check back often or submit a question that isn’t addressed in the comments and I will do my best to find you the answer.

  • What should I be sanitizing in my business?
    • Every business is different so it is impossible to create a definitive list of items, follow these guidelines and assess your individual space.
    • Everything that people touch, with a focus on things that your customers touch or things that multiple employees might touch.
    • Knobs (doors, faucet, cabinet, etc..)
    • Counters
    • Phones and keyboards
    • Chairs – seats, arm rests, and backs
    • Pens – if you need to have people physically sign things consider purchasing promotional pens and giving them away to customers.
    • If you’re the only person who uses your phone and keyboard then that isn’t as important as a phone that is shared by multiple employees.
  • How long can COVID-19 live on surfaces?
    • At least 72 hours right now. That guidance may change.
    • Realistically, that should never happen because you should be sanitizing things that people touch much more often than that.
  • How often should I be sanitizing these items?
    • It depends on customer traffic. If you are super busy and a lot of people are coming in and out of your business, every 30 minutes to an hour.
    • If you are slow and maybe one person a day comes in and out of your doors then maybe right after the person leaves.
  • How do I sanitize?
    • See below in the blog, there is a description of the differences between sanitation and disinfection. Short answer you need a chemical that kills germs.
  • What products should I use?
    • I’ve included two screen shots of the residential items in the appendix at the bottom of the blog.
    • Here is the EPA List: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
  • What kind of Sanitizers should I use on surfaces?
    • Non-porous: hard surfaces like counters and stainless steel.
    • Porous: fabrics and cloth
  • Should I require my customers to sanitize their hands when they enter my business?
    • I think you should, its for your safety as well as theirs.
    • I can tell you from my own personal experience that on a Disney Cruise you cannot enter a dining room of the buffet withOut washing or sanitizing your hands.
  • Should I require customers to wear masks and gloves?
    • That is up to you. I think that after these initial shortages go away having masks and gloves available upon request for customers and employees would be a good.
  • How important is social distancing in a business and how do I do it?
    • If you are within 6 feet of someone that has COVID-19 for 10 minutes you should isolate for 14 days to see if symptoms appear. This is according to the State of Washington Department of health. Social Distancing is very important.
    • Put lines on the floor around counters and desks.
    • Remove chairs or block chairs off to create space.
    • Implement schedule times for people to come into your business.
    • Ask people to wait in their cars or in public areas and get their phones numbers and call them to come in when it is safe to do so.
  • Can I use UV light to Sanitize rooms?
    • Yes, they make robots and lamps that do this.
    • Make sure you read the safety warnings as UVC, the frequency of light that can kill COVID-19, can be dangerous to skin and eyes.
  • What is Sanitation Theater?
    • Sanitation Theater is making a very public display of sanitizing or disinfecting an area. It is meant to reduce anxiety of people who are concerned about how safe an area is.
    • The purpose of Sanitation Theater is to make people feel safe and secure that they aren’t going to get sick from your environment.
    • It is as important as Sanitizing from a marketing perspective.

The New COVID-19 World

We are in the COVID-19 Era which is creating a new paradigm in how we interact with people and objects that we touch. The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious, either through direct contact with a COVID infected person or by touching something that has COVID-19 germs on it. What makes this even worse is that COVID-19 germs can live on hard shiny surfaces for up 72 hours.

Like many of you, I’m sure already know, but it bears repeating, a person who is infected with COVID-19 may not show any symptoms for at least 7 days with 97% of people showing some symptoms by 11 days. The infected person is contagious that entire period.

Meaning that there are people walking around right now shedding COVID-19 germs on objects, interacting with people, who do not know they are sick and are spreading the virus around.

That is a new reality and we as business owners need to recognize that our customers will need new public space bubbles and demand businesses engage in increased sanitation protocols to keep them safe during interactions.

Being exposed to COVID-19 can result in a bare minimum of having to self-isolate for 14 days and at maximum could result in life-threatening illness. Something else to consider, in the near future, a person who is sick with COVID-19, will have a contact trace done on them, this is what they do today in South Korea and across Asia.

Contact tracing is where you have to identify each person you came into direct contact with and businesses you visited over the last 7 to 10 days so that they can isolate, get tested, and go through contact tracing as well. Meaning that 1 person could cause 10’s to 100’s of people to have isolate and get tested.

This could be devastating to a business or a brand if you are the source point of an outbreak.

Right now the US isn’t engaging in contact tracing today because we are in full-blown outbreak mode right now and the resources and the systems don’t exist to do this. Once the curve is flattened and we go back out into society, contact tracing will be a big part of the procedures for containing COVID-19 moving forward. The watchwords are Isolate, Test, Contact Trace, Rinse & Repeat.

In the future, you can expect that groups of people who have been exposed to COVID-19 will be isolated for 14 days while the rest of us are able to interact in society vs. these huge shutdowns that we are in now.

This is a big deal but also an opportunity for business owners to differentiate themselves by really thinking through how to create an atmosphere that is safe and reassuring for customers.

Sanitation

I work in the restaurant industry so we are very familiar with sanitation, especially in kitchens. For a lot of you sanitation is going to be a new concept as you will have to be sanitizing your business throughout the day as customers come and go.

I’m taking these guidelines from the CDC for cleaning schools.

Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

How do I know what to Sanitize and Disinfect?

We are going to introduce the concept of Human TouchPoints. Human TouchPoints are exactly what they sound like they are the things that humans touch in your business. These touchpoints could contain COVID-19 germs and be a point where they are spread to other customers and employees.

Our goal, in the new COVID-19 world, is to reduce Human TouchPoints and Unnecessary Human Interactions wherever possible. Contactless is the new standard that customers will be judging businesses on.

What we recommend doing is a risk assessment of your business to identify where you are going to need to focus.

Here is how you can do that.

  1. Enter your business from outside.
  2. Pretend you have COVID-19 germs all over your hands.
  3. Re-enact a typical customer interaction in your business.
  4. Write down all of the different things that as a customer you touch or interact with throughout your visit.
  5. Everything you touch or come into contact with needs to be written down as they will need to be sanitized upon you concluding your interaction.
  6. As you are conducting this exercise, pretend to sneeze or cough and try to determine what impact that could have on your customers, employees, and property.
  7. Also, pay attention to social distancing during these interactions, are their times when the customer and the employee are too close to each other and could put each other at risk of spreading COVID-19.
  8. When looking at human interactions, ask yourself, is this completely necessary? Is there a way I could remove this interaction or automate it using an app or technology to make the process more contactless.
  9. Don’t forget about your employees. Are they in a safe distance from each other and what things do they touch throughout a shift that might pass COVID-19 germs to other employees? Registers, phones, keyboards, water coolers, doorknobs, etc..

Once, you have completed this initial audit you will be in a position to start optimizing your operations. You are going to first focus on reducing as many Human TouchPoints as possible. Some things will be easy, for instance, maybe you can move to contactless or app payment, then you can get rid of credit card machines and pens. Some things, like railings and doorknobs, are required and therefore you will have to be sanitizing those items on a schedule.

The businesses that do a good job of moving their operations to a contactless or more contactless state are going to impress their customers and make them feel safe and secure doing business. Take this opportunity to really streamline your steps of service and interactions and rethink how you do business.

There are two kinds of Sanitation you are going to be engaging in:

  1. Immediately After Use
  2. Schedules Sanitization

Immediately After Use means that interaction is complete and the employee will immediately sanitize the area to kill any germs. This would be chairs, pens, tables, phones, etc. that a customer used or touched during their interaction.

Scheduled Sanitation is the process of sanitizing and disinfecting items around your property on a schedule based on how busy you are. If you don’t get that many customers during a day, you may just sanitize every 4 hours. If you are very busy, you may be sanitizing every 30 minutes. Generally, scheduled sanitation is going to be focused on those human touchpoints that must exist. Knobs, counters, railings, buttons, screens, keyboards, phones. Pretty much anywhere people touch on a regular basis.

It will be impossible to have every human touch point completely disinfected 100% of the time and that is ok. You just need to have a mitigation strategy in place. Your mitigation strategy needs to be in place to mitigate the effects of germs being passed to people. I believe that we will see sanitizer and Clorox wipes everywhere in the near future as they are going to make people feel better that they can double check or wipe down surfaces they are going to be coming into contact with. It might also be a good idea to have masks and gloves available for customers and employees upon request. Obviously at the time that I’m writing this blog, those items are in high demand and should be reserved for medical personnel but the belief is that in the very near future we will have an excess and it would be fine to maintain a stock of those items at your business.

Offering a customer a Clorox wipe or sanitizer or pro-actively wiping down a chair or counter will go along way with customers who are very concerned about COVID-19 germs.

Other Things to Consider while Sanitizing

  1. Always use approved Sanitizer and disinfecting solutions.
  2. Always follow the instructions on those solutions.
  3. Allow surfaces to air dry, wiping surfaces dry with a cloth can lead to cross-contamination or a reinfecting of an area.
  4. Have chemicals present for different types of materials, like cloth and concrete.
  5. You are never going to be able to ensure a 100% germ-free environment and that is totally ok. That is why we include the mitigation strategy items to make up for that.
  6. This sanitation process has to be rooted in the reality of your business and it shouldn’t interfere with your operations.

Sanitation Theater

I want to introduce the concept of Sanitation Theater, it is making a big deal of the sanitation activities and the reduction of human interactions that you are doing to ensure that your customers are and feel safe and secure doing business with you.

I would argue that sanitation theater is almost as important as actually sanitizing. We are all feeling a lot of stress and anxiety right now about being in public, touching things, being too close to other people. Until there is a vaccine and our medical system can effectively treat COVID-19 these feelings are going to be a reality.

It isn’t going to be enough to have an effective sanitation program. You are going to have to be able to communicate that program and the lengths you are going to protect your employees and customers to them. You are going to have to show them what you are doing and why.

Your customers are going to need to feel comfortable and safe doing business with you. Don’t be afraid or shy in communicating what you are doing because it is going to be a differentiator and could help you drive sales.

Sanitation Software

I would highly recommend that you invest in a platform or program to help you manage and document your new sanitation procedures. Especially if you have multiple locations and you are not able to be in each location every day.

The benefits of using a software platform to manage your sanitation program:

  1. You are going to be adding a lot of new sanitizing tasks to your daily routines.
  2. You need a program that guides your employees through those processes to ensure that everything is completed on time and on schedule.
  3. Data is coming in rapidly from around the world, having a centrally managed solution that is easy to update and implement will be imperative in keeping your sanitation procedures up to date across all of your locations.
  4. You will want to review that each of your locations and employees are executing these procedures because it is going to be imperative to your brand that you are operating safe locations.
  5. You are going to want to document your sanitizing procedures and also that you are executing them, just to be on the safe side moving forward. I fear that after this initial outbreak that litigious people are going to start being litigious. To protect your business it makes sense to document your actions to show your due diligence.

We at OpsAnalitica have been working with the restaurant industry for years, helping multi-unit restaurant operators manage their daily operations and food safety compliance. Many restaurant companies use us today to manage their restaurant sanitation processes. We have 1000’s of locations and operate in 18 countries.

There is no difference between sanitizing a restaurant, hospital, business, school, etc.. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you implement our Sanitation Software Platform to help you protect your employees, customer, and brand, please click here.

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