Coronavirus guidance for the hospitality industry

Mon, March 16th, 2020

Preventative measures venues can take to protect customers from Coronavirus

The below article was written by Chamber Member Foursquare Group.

The UK Government have confirmed that the spread of the disease will speed up in the coming weeks and everybody should be prepared to take additional measures to protect themselves and others. The government have suggested that four out of five people in the UK could become infected at some point.

Anybody who is showing signs of Coronavirus, which is a consistent cough and a fever should self-isolate for 7 days. We may also see further measures of compulsory self-isolation, as we have done in Italy and other countries around the world.

This isolation will reduce footfall in the hospitality industry. The Government’s latest budget announcements this week will go some way to softening the financial challenge to the industry but it’s important that your hospitality business takes extra steps to protect your guests from infection and provides reassurance of public safety.

It’s important now, more than ever that your business displays robust hygiene management. Unforeseen circumstances such as these will test the measures that your business has in place – it’s extremely important that you refamiliarise yourself with your food safety management system and best practices and follow them as closely as possible.

Below we have outlined several steps which can be taken by all businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By taking these steps you will be protecting your customers – be proud of these steps that you’re taking and shout it about on social media, your website and any other channels you use to reassure the general public.

Educate all staff on the routes of transmission
Coronavirus spreads in the following ways:

  • Direct airborne transmission with the face. This means that an infected person could sneeze, cough or even breath within close proximity to another and the droplets directly reach the face.
  • Transmission via surfaces. The virus will survive on surfaces after being transferred by an infected person. A non-infected person may then touch the surface, followed by their own face and become infected.
  • Transmission by handshaking, hugging or kissing. Direct contact with an infected person will spread the infection from one person to another.

We have implemented an e-learning course which you can use to educate your staff (we’re offering this at cost value to us), but if you feel confident training staff yourself, that’s fine too – just make sure the information provided is correct and the training is purposeful.

Wash your hands OFTEN
In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of handwashing and how to it properly. Handwashing in hospitality venues is always a key part of food hygiene however now more than ever, all staff should be washing hands at the following times:

  • On arrival at work
  • Entering a food preparation area
  • After every change of task (especially after clearing tables, cleaning anywhere, using the toilet or touching anything guests may have touched).

If your handwash basin has manually operated taps, ensure that staff turn off the taps using blue roll so hands aren’t re-infected after being washed.
Ensure that you have enough stock of soaps and other personal hygiene equipment.

The frequency with which you clean surfaces and equipment in your cleaning schedule should be increased.
Items which you would usually clean once, twice or three times a day should be now cleaned as often as possible (up to 20 times a day). Make sure that items which are usually cleaned straight after use are done so.

Ensure that you have a suitable stock of sanitiser (considering there may increased demand on your supplier) and that it is used on all surfaces and any other item identified in your cleaning schedule.
Use sanitiser to clean door handles, light switches, tables, bars and rails often throughout the day. Consider all surfaces which you may not usually clean.

Ensure that your dishwasher temperature checks are carried out twice per day. Final rinse water must be 82°C for 15 seconds.
Run all dishwasher friendly items through a dishwasher where possible, even items which you would usually wash by hand or other means.

Speak to your supply chain, especially food and drink suppliers to make sure you’re comfortable with the measures they are taking to prevent spread. Your approved food suppliers will not have been through a situation like this before, so extra due diligence is required to make sure they are taking appropriate steps – if they are not, discontinue using them until you feel it’s safe again to do so.

Consider your operations
Can you temporarily change the way you do business or the service you offer to limit the spread? Consider:

  • Avoiding cash payments in favour of contactless card payments. Cash changes hands quickly and never gets cleaned or disinfected so is a sure way of spreading infection.
  • Increasing volume or starting a delivery service. This will reduce person to person contact and spread.
  • Postponing non-essential visits to your venue from suppliers, contractors or other visitors.

General advice for everybody

  • Never touch your face, especially your nose, eyes or mouth unless you have immediately just washed your hands.
  • Don’t shake hands, hug or kiss anybody
  • Be wary of others, especially in crowded places who may be showing symptoms. Turn away, or move away from anybody who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Always sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm to prevent your hands from becoming contaminated

If you use a tissue, bin it and wash your hands immediately.

If you need any more clarification or help, please get in touch with us.

Meet the Members

Foursquare Group Ltd logo

Foursquare Group Ltd

1st Floor, Edward Pavillion, Royal Albert, LIVERPOOL, Merseyside, UK, L3 4AF

  • T: 0151 662 0062

Want to upload your own news and events? Click here to find out how

Members can submit news items and events relating to their business