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Coffee Shop

The New Normal: Coffee Shop Edition

Coffee Shop Before, During & After Covid:
7 Sure-Fire tips to get your coffee shop or small cafe ready to safely serve your customers

The world as we know it has changed forever, but that doesn’t have to be all bad!  San Diego Office Design is here to guide you through the “New Normal” of opening your coffee shop during & after a pandemic.

As a business owner, it’s critical to ensure that customers and employees feel comfortable in your space. Comfort and anxiety levels will differ for everyone, so it’s important to address concerns surrounding emotional wellbeing, physical distance, cleanliness procedures, and more.

You may have to deal with changes to your space to reopen your coffee shop. However, you DON’T have to compromise the brand and culture of your company.

Keep your customers and employees feeling safe and healthy without compromising your design by following these guidelines.

  1. Limit self serve without compromising your sales
    Limiting access to self serve items like baked goods and products is crucial. Create a division between employees and customers that will help minimize the amount of cross-contamination between customers. That way, customers only touch products they will be buying. You can still have products that customers can browse and touch, but make sure they’re easily cleanable.  For instance, you can display mugs and cups for customers to browse. You can easily clean them, and it makes customers feel like they are back to their favorite coffee shop and ready to support with an additional purchase.
  1. Promote Customer to Customer Distance
    In high traffic areas, provide floor marks or freestanding signs showing a 6’ distance between each person.

  1. Limit the time people spend in your shop
    Create a way to order ahead of time by using an app (like Postmates, Doordash, UberEats) your company’s website, or even calling in orders. It can speed up the ordering process, so you can limit how long people are waiting inside your building.

    Add a order desk or hospitality station at your front entrance that has easy to see orders ready for customer pick-up, and staff it with a happy and smiling employee that can greet customers with a wave, and let them know how much you appreciate their business!
  1. Keep cleaning supplies available
    Implement a cleaning procedure and schedule for your employees. Providing cleaning supplies like sanitizing stations at the entrance for your customers should be a priority as well.
  1. Can’t Touch This
    Pay attention to touch-points; from your doorknob or door push panel to trash cans and soap dispensers. If you have multiple employees per shift, try to keep each employee in charge of sanitizing at least one area. Evaluate everything that your customers touch, if you can keep the door open to avoid people touching doorknobs and handles that would help a lot too. You can also install touchless devices to minimize the surfaces people are touching and improving the ease of cleaning.
  1. Improve Air Quality
    If your space allows, open the windows and doors to keep fresh airflow circulating. Try to avoid closed environments, if possible. Additionally, you can change your air filters more frequently than recommended and add air-purifying plants to your space to really help clean the air. Free standing air purification machines are also great, and put them in conspicuous locations, so that customers can see that you are being proactive about their health & wellbeing.  Some buildings may even update their HVAC systems to include UV light and other filtration systems to help fight against particulates in the air.
  1. Sorry, you can’t sit here
    Although your customers are aware of rules and regulations for their county with the current status of COVID-19, it is important to provide clear guidelines in regards to sitting and waiting in appropriate locations that are well marked and accessible.  If they have to wait for their order, provide a sign at the cashier to helpfully guide them to the proper waiting zone. Remember that you want every customer feeling comfortable enough to come back time and time again!

Your coffee shop might not need to do everything on this list, but it is important to make small changes right away since this is going to create a big impact on how your employees and visitors feel about being in your space. Encouraging an open discussion about how employees are feeling is key is attracting & retaining your valuable staff.

The image above shows an updated retail space that keeps the Employee on one side of the space and the customer on the other to minimize interaction. The employee only has interactions when there is a transaction on the counter. By adding this glass or plastic partitions that are see-through, space doesn’t seem smaller and the design isn’t compromised. And providing hand sanitizing stations at the entrance is a great way to give your guests additional ways to feel comfortable. 

Want more information on the products in this article? Or do you need a little more help to implement safety measures in your business?


Want more information on the products in this article? Or do you need a little more help implementing safety measures in your business?

Use this special link to schedule your call and use code: RETAIL to book your time with the Design Boss, Tamara Romeo. (a $50 value)


We’d love to hear about your success! Let us know how this list helped you – connect with us on social media!

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