Tips for Keeping Social Distancing Consistent in Your Franchise
As the world works its way to navigate COVID-19, as franchisees, we have a duty to protect our business and all who enter. That includes employees, patrons, as well as those who shop online or pickup their items rather than stepping foot inside. We truly are living in unprecedented times, and in many cases, that means it's hard to know what to plan for and how to protect our locations from the elements.
From setting new rules, to following state guidelines, to simply ensuring folks stay a safe distance from one another, there can be much to take in. As a franchise owner – or incoming franchise owner – you can readily ensure your brand is helping keep everyone as safe as possible. Of course, while public safety is important, you also have to keep the business in mind. How will income be affected? And how can you best keep up with revenue without ditching safety standards in the process?
This might feel like a fine line, but by remaining diligent as a franchise owner, you can help keep all parties protected without losing too much on the business end. Or, if you feel safer closing shop or remaining on the down low, of course there are plenty of government assistance programs that are specifically designed to help with this among the COVID crisis.
Franchise Owners and Enforcing Social Distancing
First things first, start by setting the standard yourself. You, as the owner, will set forth the example of how your employees will act inside and outside of your business. If you skimp on the mask, they'll see that's ok to do so, and so on. Remain diligent at all times. Let workers know what's expected of them and practice each of these guidelines at all times. That means wearing masks – be sure to enforce the type of mask and its positioning. For instance, reminding employees to keep their mask covering their nose. Hand washing or hand sanitizing should also be strictly enforced. Make hand sanitizer available for all so this is easier to accomplish.
Next, you and workers should maintain a smart distance – that is, at least six feet apart. This can seem difficult at times, which means it might be imperative to lighten the staff present at any given time, or to limit the amount of customers who are allowed inside of your business. Signage can also remind all of these guidelines, while floor markers can measure just how far six feet is for each shopper. (It's further than anyone realizes in the moment.)
Meanwhile, you should also train staff on what to do or say if a customer fails to follow these social distancing guidelines. It's a subject that should be approached gently, but consistently, so that all maintain similar rules. Gentle reminders can also encourage others to follow the franchise guidelines in place, and might pass the word that your establishment is remaining safe throughout the pandemic.
Inform Your Customer Base: Franchise Shoppers
Another way to keep consistent safety standards is to communicate to your local customer base. Do you send out emails? Texts? Social media posts? Tell others what's going on and how you're handling it. You can also post the updates on business doors so those who might not be signed up for digital communication can still read the news.
It's up to each franchisee's discretion on how often to update these standards, but in any case, it can be a good way to keep all informed. Remind shoppers of current state regulations and how your location indents to keep up with these guidelines. Remaining compliant on its own can ensure safety, but communicating that safety to the masses can instill confidence in your brand. This is a move that could potentially draw in any customers who were otherwise weary of your location – if for no other reason than the coronavirus itself.
As a franchise owner, COVID-19 doesn't have to be an obstacle to work around. It can be a changing entity to which you can conform your business to follow safety standards going forward. Keep each of these in mind to keep your workers, your customers, and your franchise location safe from these adjusting safety standards.
By Bethaney Wallace | Jul 02, 2020 | General Franchise Information