The weight of reopening your bakery during this time is not lost on us. We understand the difficult position bakeries are in—balancing the livelihood of their business and everyone it impacts and keeping their communities safe from a global pandemic.
We’ve gathered some best practices to reopening your bakery right now. Just make sure you’re following any applicable state or local laws and guidelines and always follow the health and sanitation regulations previously established. Here are some recommendations for reopening your bakery safely.
While it may be difficult, try to forecast anticipated business levels for the next six to nine months. This will help you with operational considerations such as re-hiring, scheduling, and hours of operation.
Start updating or creating policies in regard to social distancing, store capacity, cleaning practices, and sick leave. Again, check with your local government to determine the laws and guidelines surrounding reopening businesses.
Evaluate the need and budget for new personal and business-wide safety measures like plexiglass shields at your front counter, touchless faucets, masks, gloves, etc. This might also include the addition of individual sealed samples or individually packaged deli items to reduce the impact of communal food and beverage amenities.
Develop a cleaning and sanitizing schedule for your bakery’s workspaces and post a checklist so employees can complete as needed before, during, and after their shift. While you’ll need to provide these hygiene-related items, you might also consider providing lotion to mitigate dry hands from frequent washing and cleaning products.
To adhere to any social distancing needed, set standards for your staff in communal areas and capacity restrictions for your customers. Next, you’ll need a process for monitoring and enforcing those standards. It may be helpful to appoint a shift lead for this responsibility.
The reality is that some customers will follow your guidelines and some will not. Address with your staff how they should manage a customer who isn’t following your bakery’s social distancing rules.
Finally, gather feedback from your staff throughout the first few weeks of reopening to identify areas that need to be adjusted or revisited.
Communicating with Customers
It’s a good idea to communicate with your customers about changes they will see when they come back into your bakery. Consider sending emails and posting signs with pertinent information about what they will experience when they visit your bakery, such as:
- New sanitation practices and policies
- Altered hours and days of operation
- Availability of communal spaces/amenities
- Occupancy limits
- Changes to payment process
You can also outline this information and provide it to your staff so they can answer any questions that your customers may have.
To reduce the amount of direct physical contact at your bakery, you might think about offering online purchasing and same day pickup.
Consider a Soft Launch
Taking all of these items into account, you might want to consider a soft reopening to get feedback on your new policies and processes. You can look to loyal customers, family members, friends, or other people you trust to give you their honest feedback.
However you decide to operate, remember that this is everyone’s first time reopening business during a global pandemic. There’s no perfect way to do this, and you’ll likely hit a few snags along the way, but it’s important to reopen your bakery in a way that is financially and physically safe.
Check out some more strategies to keep bakery sales going right now.
Looking for a way to offer your online customers same-day pickup or delivery? BakeSmart Online has you covered! Check out our example site or schedule a BakeSmart demo today!