Maintaining a safe, clean environment in your convenience store has always been important; however, in the face of COVID-19, it is now more imperative than ever. Because of the highly contagious nature of the virus, it is vital that convenience stores take the necessary precautions to keep their customers and employees safe. Here are some easy ways you can keep your store disinfected and continue welcoming employees and visitors into a safe haven:
Make Handwashing a Priority
The best defense against the novel coronavirus and other viral infections is frequent, vigorous handwashing. Like other viruses, COVID-19 is surrounded by a protective fatty envelope, which helps it attach to and affect surrounding cells. Soap (and the friction associated from scrubbing) dissolves the membrane, and the virus dies. Stress to your employees the importance of frequent handwashing to help keep them and your customers safe.
Continuously Sanitize High-Touch Surfaces
Cleaning also needs to extend beyond handwashing. Businesses worldwide have taken great strides in improving their sanitization. Pay special attention to what’s called “high-touch surfaces” and disinfect them several times every day. This includes nozzles, door handles, light switches, checkout countertops, keypads, buttons, keyboards, touchscreens, monitors, squeegee handles, store phones, and intercom systems.
Take the time to educate both your workers and customers about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe. Establish and maintain a caring connection with customers by sending physical and digital messages in an effort to protect their health. Download, print, and post hourly cleaning checklists for internal sanitization as well.
Bleach may be powerful, but it can also be dangerous and often requires users to wear gloves, masks, and eye protection when in use. This substance is also strong enough to break down materials and colors, can create a deadly chemical reaction when in contact with other cleaners, and is hazardous to the environment. Choose instead to sanitize your convenience store with hydrogen peroxide sanitizers, iodine based sanitizers, and other disinfectants approved by the EPA.
Help Customers Protect Themselves
Even though you’re now regularly sanitizing high-touch surfaces, customers may still feel uneasy touching the gas pumps or pressing their PIN into the keypad outside. Shield them and soothe their worries by providing disposable gloves, disposable towels, and disinfectant wipes at the fuel island. These items can help add a layer of protection and keep your customers at ease.
Let Them See You in Action
Make it a point to let your customers see you working hard to keep your convenience store clean and disinfected. When they drive up and notice you sanitizing surfaces, they will feel reassured, safe, and cared for. This may also translate to positive referrals and a future increase in foot traffic.
Keep the Sick Home
It’s true that your team members will become more essential than ever; however, they can do more harm than good when they’re sick. If they or any of their family members are sick, or if they have come into contact with someone who recently traveled or has tested positive for COVID-19, send them home to self-quarantine. Should someone become sick, inform your other employees and double your sanitizing efforts. Additionally, remember to follow the guidelines from the CDC and your local health department on what you need to do to clean and disinfect your store if a team member becomes ill.
Continue Adhering to Best Practices
Of course, keep following best practices from the CDC. This includes washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face with unclean hands, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your elbow, maintaining a healthy distance of at least 6 feet from others, sanitizing surfaces more regularly, and staying home when you or your family is unwell. These actions will help keep you healthy and able to continue serving the community.
You work hard to care and provide for your customers – let Home Service Oil provide for you! We are still open and available for all of your fueling, lubrication, and automobile equipment needs. Call us at 1-800-467-5044 to learn more or schedule a delivery!