Dining In During a Pandemic: The Do’s and Don’ts for Restaurant Operators

The global pandemic turned the tables on the restaurant industry. Now, for restaurant employees and guests alike, nothing matters more than the safety of their experience inside the restaurant. Social distancing can only go so far—there are still many shared devices that guests and staff have to touch, including point-of-sale devices, payment PIN pads, kiosks and kitchen monitors. 

To reduce the risk of virus transmission, restaurants can implement solutions like contactless order and payment technologies in the dining room. But you can also go a step further and add a layer of protection to your shared devices using anti-microbial coating. Applying it can be a part of your multi-layer strategy for reopening your restaurant, in addition to social distancing, self-service options and additional sanitization efforts. 

What is Anti-Microbial Coating? 

Anti-microbial coating is an environmentally-friendly surface treatment applied directly onto shared devices. This coating will: 

Make it difficult for microbes (virus, bacteria, fungi) to live on coated surfaces, limiting the possibility of transmission through touch

Improve the effectiveness of standard cleaning and disinfecting procedures

Make surfaces more resilient to scratches and dirt buildup over time

For known viruses, clinical studies have shown favorable results in either killing the microbes or preventing their growth on smooth and textured surfaces. 

How It Works

Anti-microbial coating dates to the 1970s and is used broadly to provide protection for everything from buildings to vehicles. Numerous tests in various applications have shown that it isn’t harmful. And in most cases, trained professionals are who actually apply the anti-microbial coating to device surfaces using a spray, plastic film or wipe. Generally, wipes are the preferred method to apply the coating evenly.  

The coating creates an “inhospitable” environment for microbes, such as bacteria, virus, fungus and molds, to rest on the shared devices and begins protecting right after application. The durability of the coating depends on the amount of use and the surface treated. Studies have shown a 99 percent reduction in most microbes in the 10 minutes after the treatment has been applied. 

A transparent coating, it can be used on indoor and outdoor devices, and will not degrade due to the exposure to environmental elements, like rain or increased temperatures. Frequent touch and normal washing or disinfectants also won't remove it.

The Value of Anti-Microbial Coating

An anti-microbial coating makes it almost impossible for germs or other pathogens to hold on to surfaces and be transmitted via touch. Using this type of coating on your devices can help you protect your staff and consumers against virus transmission, reduce your overall risk of exposure and make everyone feel safer, which strengthens your brand. Added benefits include improving the efficiency of your day-to-day cleaning practices and reducing dust collection on devices. 

Displaying Your Safety Practices to Customers and Employees 

Communicating your new safety protocols is key to creating a safe environment and giving your guests and employees the confidence to return. If you use anti-microbial coating on your shared devices, there are a few easy ways you can promote it:

  • Apply an adhesive label to your devices that notifies users that the coating has been used to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission
  • Display signage in your restaurant that says your equipment has been treated with an anti-microbial coating service for greater safety
  • Talk about the coating with your staff to show you care and how to mention it to guests so they feel safer, too

The pandemic may have served up more disruption and chaos than any other event in recent history. But by taking smart, small steps like adding anti-microbial coating to your devices, in addition to other measures like distancing and contactless options, you can reopen confidently—and make guests feel just as confident about coming back, again and again.