The global pandemic changed business life in the U.S. While the Coronavirus is still with us, all of us hope that a vaccine is created so public life can more or less go back to normal prior to the virus. At the same time, states are gradually reopening, and businesses are following suit. While governments are allowing businesses to be open, most are still promoting social distancing in an effort to thwart the virus.
So, what steps do restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses need to take to reopen? Businesses need to instill a sense of confidence that customers can visit safely. Following the appropriate restaurant reopening guidelines is crucial to show customers that you’re prepared to handle in-person visits appropriately.
Obviously, there are various state and local regulations in each location. So, it is important to consult with local authorities to comply with government mandates. At the same time, businesses can take some common steps to maintain social distancing, keep both employees and customers safe, and build confidence with their customer base.
A great step to take as a business is investing in COVID signage. By having a set of printed signs and other materials in each location reopening to the public will help make store policies and local mandates clearer to the consumer.
Below, we’ve put together a list of appropriate social distancing COVID signage and printing ideas for your business.
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Business & Restaurant Reopening Guidelines: COVID-19 Signage Ideas
1. Floor decals.
Almost overnight, restaurants, grocery stores, and service businesses have begun applying floor decals as part of their restaurant reopening guidelines. To be clear, you can’t just slap a label or tape a piece of paper to the floor safely. All adequately made floor decals must have a special OSHA approved non-skid laminate to promote safety in the workplace. Although floor decals have been in use for some time, here are some ideas for decals to promote social distancing:
- Install floor graphics that show people where to stand in your business and possibly where to line up if lines are needed. Frequently, these graphics have outlines of two shoes on them, so the implications are obvious. These graphics need to be large enough, at least 16 inches to 2 feet in both dimensions, so they are highly visible, and so people can stand on them. You might also want to include a few words like “Please Stand Here” or “Please Wait Here for Social Distancing.”
- Consider arrows or directions on the floor to indicate which way people need to walk inside your business. Recently, some grocers have begun using floor graphics to note that grocery aisles are one way. Making customers walk in one direction only reduces the incidence of patrons facing one another, and potentially reduces the spread of any illnesses. These decals can say “This Way Only” or “One Way Only” with an arrow. Or, you could just use straight arrow floor decals to accomplish the same thing. You might also need other decals to say “Wrong Way” with an “X” at the other end of the aisle. In addition, some local regulations may encourage or mandate restaurants or other businesses to graphically show the way to and from the restroom. Floor arrow decals can accomplish this with flair!
2. Entry and Exit Signage.
Many restaurants and other retail shops are installing better signs to indicate which door to use for entry and exit. These signs could be produced on any number of materials depending on whether they will be installed inside or outside. Signs could be on metal, but PVC and other plastics offer potentially less expensive alternatives. Furthermore, you may want signs placed on the outside of back doors, limiting hours for deliveries, or restricting vendor visits.
3. Health Measures Signs.
Many businesses with some foot traffic may be instituting quick temperature or other health checks at the front door. If you are checking customers’ temperatures, a handy sign may avoid arguments and questions. These types of signs will not only improve compliance with new initiatives but should also improve customer experiences.
4. Outdoor Instructional Signs.
A huge number of businesses are providing curbside service to patrons, bringing orders directly to a customer’s car trunk. In addition, some doctor’s offices and other service businesses have moved their waiting rooms outside or eliminated them altogether by having clients wait in their cars. It is a good idea to have outdoor signs to tell clients what to do in each of these situations. For curbside service, you may want signs indicating where clients should park and who to call for service.
5. Employee Health Check Signs.
Some businesses are requiring employees to do temperature checks each day or to wear masks at all times. Signs will help all team members know what is expected. These signs could be relatively simple (laminated sheets affixed to the wall in the right place) or could be printed on plastic or synthetic materials.
6. Empty Table Signs.
Restaurants have a lot of capacity at the moment, which they are not allowed to use. By following your restaurant reopening guidelines, you want to ensure these spaces are marked off clearly. Indicate which tables should stay empty by posting simple flyers printed on colored paper on tables that say ‘This Table Reserved for Social Distancing.’ This can be done very inexpensively and effectively with black and white flyers on colored or neon stock.
7. Stay 6 Feet Apart Signs.
Retail stores may want to put signs, which tell patrons to stay 6 feet apart, for safety. Again, all of this can be done professionally, or even with panache. A professional graphic designer can make your signs fit with your business image and look attractive.
8. Hours of Operation Signs.
Many businesses have changed their hours during this crisis, and they may continue altering hours for some time to come. Some retail companies have “senior shopping hours” to help more vulnerable customers have a special time to shop. While hours of operation are probably posted online, help spread the word with attractive signs or A-Frame signs which can stand outside your business.
9. Sneeze Guards.
Many retail businesses with a cash register or check out area are putting plexiglass or plastic sneeze guards into place to protect their staff. While this is not technically a sign, you might put a decal on the guard, so customers will understand what these are or to provide other information.
10. Explanatory Flyers.
With all of these changes taking place, it might be a good idea to have a stack of flyers or rack cards for incoming customers to explain what you are doing and to reassure customers that these changes are for everyone’s safety.
Don’t Forget COVID Signage Printing for Training and Marketing
12. Training Manuals and Job Aids.
With all of these changes, it is important to make sure your team of employees understands the importance and details related to all of these changes. Update your training manuals or other job aids, so everyone is one the same page.
13. Banners and Yard Signs.
Remember to let the community know you are open for business. Banners or yard signs can spread the word quickly to passersby. If you are a restaurant open only for take out, share the phone number to call. If you just reopened your retail space, be sure to let everyone know!
Need help getting signage or printed materials ready to show your customers how to stay safe?