Ensuring occupant indoor air quality safety in restaurants is critical to success.
Over the past three years, the restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. As it rebounds, the importance of occupant safety is more important than ever.
As restaurants began rebuilding their businesses, customers needed to adapt to the new "post-pandemic" dining experience. Today you have a whole new "norm" to how businesses operate, sanitize and ensure establishment safety.
From basic safety precautions like sneeze guards, digital menu's and social distancing, essential safety measures must be met in order to make customers comfortable - and keep them coming back.
While some things have changed, one thing still remains the same and that's creating an ideal dining experience. By following the simple tips below you can be on your way to keeping guests and staff safe, secure, and above all else - satisfied.
1. Streamline How You Sanitize
While "cleanliness" can have very different meanings to some, achieving a professional level of clean can speak volumes for your staff. By going above and beyond to incorporate a sanitized process in your restaurant, you hold the keys to customer confidence. Many restaurants currently are looking to professional grade sanitization guns, ware washing products, and dishwashers instead of hand-washing.
In addition, in order to eliminate the potential for employees to contaminate the space, managers are offering online training sessions for new and existing staff members to follow. By having a process in place and employees involved you can lower the susceptibility of bacteria, germs, or airborne viruses to accumulate.
- Schedule your sanitization process in sections for efficiency
- Clean high-touch or high-traffic areas as often as possible
- Disinfect common areas like booths, tables, and seating in-between customer visits
- Don't reuse contaminated rags, sponges, or clothes
- Use EPA registered disinfectants
2. Prioritize Staff Safety
Although it might not be the easiest time to hire new workers, providing safety for your new staff is critical. For example, virtually every restaurant uses carbon dioxide in bulk tanks or cylinders to carbonate beverages. This "mystery gas" can pose serious health effects and dangers, especially to newer staff who aren't familiar with it. Because the gas is invisible - you can't see it, smell it, or taste it - They may not be aware of the dangers. If an employee enters a room with a potential CO2 leak, they can become dizzy, unconscious, and even experience fatality in just minutes. Learn more about CO2 safety in restaurants, bars and venues.
It is important to also note that some municipalities require restaurants to have carbon dioxide alarms installed for those using or storing CO2.
3. Know What's in your Restaurant Air
While many professionals expressed the importance of indoor air quality, it was not until COVID-19 that occupants understood the meaning of "clean air." Monitoring indoor air quality has become a requirement for restaurants, bars and venues.
Typical building codes required an equal air exchange and a proper HVAC system installed in order to mitigate the potential risk of indoor generated contaminants.
However, simply installing fans or upgrading your commercial HVAC system may not be enough. Air quality needs to be tested throughout the dinner hours to insure the HVAC system is exchanging the air effectively.
The best way to do this is to spot-check indoor air quality by using a desktop or hand-held indoor air quality monitor. Monitoring CO2 levels is the best indication of indoor air quality. CO2 levels above 1,000ppm indicate poor air exchange. This gives you an instant indication of the IAQ levels in different spaces like the kitchen, refrigerators, or low or high-traffic areas.
For example, using hand held IAQ monitors, a study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of technology showed that restaurants had higher levels of indoor aerosol particles. Scientists now know that coronavirus can "ride" on these particles and are an important source of viral spread indoors.
A well ventilated restaurant is not just helpful post-pandemic. Air quality monitors can indicate trouble spots where germs, bacteria and mold are likely to accumulate. Fixing these spots in a restaurant can help reduce other respiratory illnesses like the flu.
4. Communication and Commitment
Great restaurants combine delectable food, with an unforgettable dining experience. In order to do so, it's important to create a space that customers feel secure in and want to keep coming back to. In order to portray that space to the customer, it is up to you to make your efforts known and noticeable.
Whether it is showing your restaurant's dedication to COVID-19 safety by messaging across social media or displaying your sanitization procedures on signage, informing your customers about your commitment to their safety will make them feel at more ease when dining.
For more information on carbon dioxide and IAQ solutions for restaurants call or email us today.