We have to show customers that we are following the guidelines, that the entire world is following too. Using coroplast signs, we can create bespoke images and text, to warn customers what they need to do. You can make a sign saying “wear a mask” along with an icon of a human wearing a face covering. You could also make a sign saying “two meters distance” and have two people standing far from each other with arrows or measuring dots in between.
Place these signs at the base of your lines in the store. Wherever the customers line up to the serving, place this sign on a stem and or platform. You should also place these signs on your windows, so passersby know that it's safe inside because you have such rules in place. If you have customers sitting outside al-fresco, then place the signs outside too.
The key question for all coffee shop owners is, what if a customer walks into your store and doesn’t want to wear a mask or keep their distance from other customers? The sad fact of the matter is, you have to turn them around and refuse to serve them. They will also need to be kicked out of your store. Bear in mind, customers obeying your rules will want to leave your establishment, if you're too afraid to apply the law.
What if they become violent? This is why it's so important to have a good relationship with the local police. You should warn them that you will be opening up on this day and time and that you will call them if a non-compliant customer is causing trouble on your premises.
Also, consider hiring a security guard. They will need to be okay with the new rules. If they need to physically remove someone who isn’t wearing a mask, this is something that could be risky but they should know that this is part of the job requirements.
Indoor food and drink policies
Customers should not be allowed to pick food or drink items up, then put them back down again if they’re not buying them. If you have a pack of chips or perhaps some fruit bowls up for sale, customers should only touch these items if they are intending on purchasing them. This is a policy which you should enact in your business. Either write it down on a slate with some chalk or place a sign indoors. This will prevent customers who could have an illness from spreading it around your shop.
Showing customers that you’re open for business is crucial! Now more than ever you should drop any kind of pretence regarding marketing and just show the real deal. Take selfies in your store with lines of customers in the background. Ask customers if they would be okay with having their picture taken and post them online. Use their first names only and make it more personal such as “Cindy and Martin enjoying a muffin and a latte, come join us we’re open!” it's sounds so simple but it's so effective.
You can also take marvelous photos of your drinks and food as a way to bring customers out of their homes and places of work, to your shop even if it's just to buy some items and leave. You want to show the world what they’re missing out on!
Make local deliveries
Starbucks has already made announcements of stores making local deliveries and your shop should do the same. Allow people to make orders online and bring their food and drink to them. Remember, people are working from home so you no longer will be making deliveries to commercial offices, but people’s homes now.
Bringing your amazing coffee shop back to life isn’t going to be easy, but let’s face it, no one who owns a business will have it better anyway. So, let’s have signs reminding customers to follow the rules, keep a sound food and beverage policy and make deliveries where we can.