Non-profit organisation Beyond Blue has released a number of tips for the industry as businesses reopen their doors for dining in.
It can be stressful trying to keep up to date with the constantly changing restrictions while keeping customers and staff safe, s here are four tips to think about.
Tick all the boxes
Whether you’re new to the game or a hospitality veteran, you’ll be facing never-before-seen challenges. Restrictions around the number of patrons is the obvious one, but there are also a host of other issues around managing bookings, the length of time diners can stay in a venue for and complying with new hygiene protocols.
While it’s great that you are opening your doors again, it needs to be done in the right manner. This means being as informed as possible about government requirements so you can make good decisions to ensure peace of mind for yourself and give confidence to employees and patrons.
Look after staff
Employees may be concerned about job security, which is a legitimate concern given the uncertainty of the situation. You should address issue directly by being open and honest with staff, keeping them in the loop as the landscape continues to change.
Some employees may be anxious about working in such close proximity to other people, so it’s important to speak with staff about how they’re feeling. Try to provide as much support as possible and ensure each member of staff knows you are complying with the COVID-19 safe workplace principles.
Be transparent with patrons
This is also an uncertain time for your customers, many of whom will want to support you and return to more normality but might be unsure about the process. Cut out the confusion by communicating clearly with the public through social media, the business website or even physical signage at the restaurant as well as speaking openly about how you are operating. Make sure you and your employees are consistent in what you say.
When creating promotional material, make sure to include updated opening hours and advice on how to book, as well as any other information you might feel is important, such as plans for when restriction further ease. This will not only encourage patrons to support your venue but to do so in a manner that helps you operate as smoothly as possible.
Take care of yourself
Of course, you’ll need to look after yourself during this period. While it will be tempting to throw yourself completely into your work, make sure to take some time to prioritise self-care and your own mental health. This includes eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising daily and accessing your support networks.