“Industry body UK Hospitality suggests that all sauce bottles

and condiments should be removed from tables and replaced with individually wrapped salt, pepper and sauces.”

but this could lead to long queues, frustrated guests and lower profits for the establishment since queuing customers will not be eating, drinking or ordering. However, the fact that hand hygiene needs to be encouraged in food establishments means that washroom use should not be restricted.

Again, text technology could be used to facilitate washroom use. Diners and pub-goers could be invited to join a virtual toilet queue via an app that would send them an alert when a cubicle is free. This would limit the number of people inside the washroom at any one time and improve the experience for guests.

Once inside the washroom, the facility should be geared towards speeding up the process to allow for a seamless throughput. All dispensers should be well stocked with soap and paper to prevent time wasted hunting around for supplies.

Soap dispensers should be ergonomic, quick to use and slow to run out. Tork Foam Soaps work well because each refill contains 2,500 shots of soap compared with around 1,000 in most liquid soap systems. And the dispenser requires a particularly low push-force which makes it quick and easy to use.

Hand drying can be quickened by installing paper towels instead of hand-dryers, which take at least 10 seconds to dry the hands. Many of us today also like to take a towel to act as a shield when turning off taps and touching the door handle to exit the premises.

Going to a pub or restaurant is a tactile experience. Diners will pick up the menu and peruse it before handing it to their companions. They may take a bread roll from the basket, touching others in the process. They will handle the cutlery, plates and condiments and then later the bill and the credit card machine. When they visit the washroom they will touch door handles, dispensers and taps.

Since the coronavirus can easily be transferred to objects and surfaces, thorough cleaning coupled with frequent hand-washing is key to reducing transmission.

It can be reassuring to witness frequent cleaning taking place in the shops and offices we visit. But in a bar or restaurant, we may find it off-putting to occupy a space in which chemical cleaners are constantly being sprayed. So, it makes sense to combine enhanced cleaning with measures that ensure that fewer surfaces are touched in the first place.

For example, industry body UK Hospitality suggests that all sauce bottles and condiments should be removed from tables and replaced with individually wrapped salt, pepper and sauces. In its draft recommendations for how hospitality businesses could operate post-lockdown, the body also advocates the use of single-use paper menus or laminated ones that can be cleaned after use.

Washrooms of hospitality venues could be a major sticking point, however. Social distancing will need to be implemented in the toilets as well as everywhere else

Again, a high-capacity hand towel dispenser that is quick to use will speed up the process. For example, the Tork PeakServe Dispenser holds more than 2,000 hand towels and it takes just three seconds for the user to access a towel.

Where space allows in a bar or restaurant, separate wash and brush-up facilities could be situated outside the washroom to allow guests to check their hair or apply make-up. Mirrors could then be removed from the washrooms – a move that would also help to speed up visitor traffic.

Ensuring the safety of staff and guests will be a challenge in the post-COVID world. We at Essity are doing what we can to help by launching the Tork Safe at Work Food Service Toolkit.

This provides guidelines on hand hygiene, surface cleaning and sanitisation to help reduce the spread of pathogens in hospitality venues. It offers downloadable hand hygiene posters and gives advice on the best places to situate sanitiser dispensers such as on counters, at kitchen exits and in the washrooms.

Tomorrow’s bars and restaurants will seem very different at first. But we will soon become used to the ‘new normal’ - and if hospitality venues are creative, resourceful and determined to succeed they will continue to offer a rewarding and welcoming experience that will surprise and delight their guests. TOMORROW’S FM | 41

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