Commercial food safety and sanitation continues to stay top-of-mind for bakers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As bakeries across the country begin to reopen, Dawn Foods has assembled a checklist of safety practices for bakers to utilize as they welcome the public into their spaces.
How to Reopen Safely – And Smartly
As more states reopen businesses, retail and restaurant operations must be even more careful about adhering to safety and social distancing precautions. As you think about the steps your business needs to take to go from either completely closed or carry out only to bringing customers back into your bakery, don’t lose sight of the following must-do’s:
Prioritize Safety for Your Employees
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. PPE 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 back of the house and up front. Consider painting or taping off areas so that everyone has easy reminders to keep their distance.
Build in Healthy Moments Throughout the Day
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 prioritize 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.
Communicate with Customers
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 credit 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.
Adapt your Assortment
Smaller portions, traditional favorites, 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 flavors and forms your customers will buy the most of so that you can get the most out of each exchange.
Focus on Frozen
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.
The bottom line? Just because things are slowing starting to open back up, don’t forgo all the smart policies and pivots you’ve put in place to help you succeed over the past several weeks.