Viruses spread easily, and as the COVID pandemic showed the world, there's a lot more that people can and should be doing to make their operations touchless. From automatic soap dispensers to infrared thermometers to check employee temperatures, you have a lot of options to make your restaurant hands-free.
If you want to make your restaurant touchless, you can by using the following hands-free solutions:
1. Contactless Payment
Money is dirty. When you have to get close to customers to accept payments, you're at risk of spreading disease and germs. A lot of restaurants are offering contactless payment options that modernize their establishment and allow orders to move along rapidly.
Contactless payments have been added to many of the world's largest fast-food restaurants, including:
Modern restaurant management should include the option to pay for food online through a credit card or through an app. Mobile payment is ideal and speeds up sales. Your point-of-sale system likely offers mobile payments already and will require a simple update to get started.
The use of contactless payment allows you to:
- Keep a safe distance from guests
- Speed up the checkout process
Of course, you'll want to focus on other areas of your business that can also be adjusted to remove contact points.
2. Hands-free Bathroom Equipment
Bathrooms are known for being a major spreader of germs. From tapping soap dispensers to turning the knob on the bathroom sink, you're spreading germs. When someone else touches this surface, they may contract your germs, getting them sick with anything from the coronavirus to the flu - or any contagious germs that you have.
Making your bathroom hands-free is the best option for you.
There are a few ways to do this, and a lot of stores and restaurants have these mechanisms in place already:
- Hands-free sinks that you wave your hand under and the water automatically comes on. These sinks allow you to confidently wash your hands without fear of touching any surfaces in the process.
- Hands-free dryers are another great option. You can wave your hand under this equipment and blasts of hot air will work to dry off your hands. You can also install touchless electronic roll towel dispensers that work in the same manner.
- Touchless soap dispensers are another option and work like the sinks discussed previously. Wave your hand under the automatic hand soap dispenser and soap will be ejected from the unit.
You can also use auto-flush toilets that don't require any of your patrons to touch the toilet's handle. When you use this option alongside a hands-free soap dispenser, you'll be able to keep your surfaces clean and germ-free.
These hands-free options are not going to clean off all surfaces, so you'll need to use this in conjunction with regular cleaning protocols.
Another great option to include around your restaurant are automatic hand sanitizer dispensers. These dispensers allow patrons to quickly sanitize their hands and keep surfaces clean at the same time.
3. Digital Menus
Menus are changing, and while some restaurants have laminated their menus to allow for easy cleaning, another option is to make your menu digital. A digital menu works in your benefit in numerous ways:
- Menus are never touched by diners
- Menus can be updated at little expense
- People can look at the menu before sitting down
You can ask patrons to view the menu on their phone, or you can provide a digital menu on the table. When providing a digital menu, you'll need to be very cautious of your cleaning habits. Workers should be cleaning off these menus after every table leaves to reduce the risk of spreading germs.
A simple app can also be used as a menu and for ordering.
4. Hands-free Equipment and Supplies
What equipment can cooks or the wait staff use in a hands-free manner? There are a lot of supplies - many of which we've covered. But let's think of a few more options that will allow you to make the back of your restaurant more hands-free and contactless.
A few of the supplies and equipment that you can use to make your staff enjoy a hands-free experience are:
- Thermometers. Checking the temperature of staff was a crucial requirement at the start of COVID and still remains in place. You should be using infrared thermometers for the job. How do infrared thermometers work? They take the temperature of the person at their forehead with a gun-like device. No one needs to put the thermometer under their tongue or in their ears. If the temperature is high, you'll want to send the person home.
- Gloves. Wearing gloves is a good idea, but there are a lot of touch points when putting the gloves on. Touchless gloves are a good option and will automatically put the gloves on the hands of the person using a unique air system. Everyone can confidently wear their gloves without concern of contamination.
If you can, find equipment and supplies that offer hands-free operation. You can use automatic soap dispensers or automatic sanitizer dispensers to keep employee hands clean and touch-free.
Speak with your suppliers to find hands-free solutions that will allow you to keep your most important asset safe - your employees.
5. Automatic Door Openers
Door handles are prime areas for germs, and everyone has to touch them to go in and out of your restaurant. One way to eliminate this touch point is by installing automatic door openers. These doors sense when someone is close by and will automatically open when standing outside of the sensors.
If you cannot install one of these door openers, you can try to prop the door open during the warmer months of the year.
Automation is helping make restaurants more sanitary and contactless. You should be doing everything you can, moving forward, to create a hands-free environment for guests and employees.
Remember that proper ventilation will also help to keep viruses from remaining in the air.
Open windows or opt to use ventilation systems that clean the air and circulate it out. Proper ventilation and the five tips mentioned above will help make your establishment safer.