More and more restrictions on businesses are step by step being lifted. Retail and restaurant operations are close to being able to expand hours and operations, and this means that safety and adhering to precautions are now more important than ever.
As you think about the steps your business needs to take to go from either completely closed or takeaway only, to bringing customers back into your bakery, don’t lose sight of these important must-do’s.
Just because things are opening up slowly, it doesn’t mean that everyone is safe. Precautions are necessary, so be sure to implement them in your bakery. Safety for your employees is a must. Be clear about what you expect them to provide for themselves versus what you will make available to them as part of their uniform or equipment. Also, give them as much room between each other as possible to ensure social distancing, both in the baking area, as well as in front of customers. Consider painting or taping off areas so that everyone has easy reminders to keep their distance.
Hand washing has become the new norm. Consider building several hand washing breaks into your team’s schedule throughout the day so they know they are not only permitted, but also encouraged to prioritise hygiene. Also, ensure that your hand washing stations are fully stocked. You’re going to use more soap so now is the time to purchase extra hand soap, towels, and other supplies you’ll need to keep teams healthy and within guidelines. You don’t want to have to shut down or lose productivity because you’ve run out of soap. It’s a simple consideration, but an important one.
Share updates often with your customers. You can market your daily specials and other promotions, but also focus on what you’re doing to ensure health and wellness. Clearly state your employee policies so they know your bakery has a thoughtful approach to keeping them safe. Communicate about what you expect of customers. Do you want them to wear masks? Wait at the door until admitted by you? Pay by card only so you don’t have to handle cash? These are just a few of the short-term policy changes you need to determine and then share with your loyal public.
Smaller portions, traditional favourites, individual packaging - all of these are smart ideas for selling.
Don’t step away from these just because you are gaining more retail freedom. Sell the flavours and forms of bakery products that your customers will buy the most of so that you can get the most out of each exchange.
Last month, we shared an article about freeze and thaw products do’s and don’ts.
Continue to leverage frozen products for optimal efficiency. You can thaw what you need each day to meet sales goals, or continue to sell frozen baked goods your customers can thaw and bake at home.