As guests gradually begin to adjust with the new normal of dine-out, it is important to ensure the hygiene of all front of house materials to protect your guests and staff.
As recommended by the WHO, the effective removal of germs such as the COVID-19 virus requires thorough cleaning and disinfection. The virus can survive on surfaces for varying amounts of time due to a range of factors including the degree to which they are contaminated, type and material of surface and prevailing environmental temperature.
Therefore, other than following government regulations on maximum capacity and spacing between tables, frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected regularly. Some of these surfaces such as door handles, light switches, power points, items on tabletops and often-used equipment.
In this article, we cover procedures venue operators should have in place to minimize the risks of COVID-19 contamination wherever tea if offered: at the table, for self-service or over the counter.
It is important to inform guests of the measures you are taking for their safety. Here are some suggestions for your table talker communications to reassure them:
- “We are serving enveloped tea, sealed for your freshness and hygiene”
- “Please only touch the tea of your choice”
- “Freshly boiled water for the best quality and hygiene”
- “Paper lid: sealed for your safety”
In addition to the above, keep in mind that guests are cautious and are still adjusting to the new norm, just like everyone else. Creating a safe and unique dining experience is key – guests are more likely to build trust and re-visit when they observe your commitment to hygiene. Here are a few visual cues:
- Visible hand sanitizer, trusted blend like lifebuoy, available at tables or counters
- Show cleaning during operating hours to enhance awareness and build hygiene credibility.
- Cups upside down or with seal
- Make sure water is freshly boiled at 100 °C
- Provide tongs to staff to use when retrieving loose tea from tins
- Regularly wash out each loose tea tins with hot water
Tip: We always recommend serving tea to your guests as a finished product. Brew in the kitchen area and remove the infuser, or alternatively provide the customer with a timer to make sure they get the best brew possible for a perfect experience.
Table Service: Cafes and Restaurants
- Regularly clean menus with a disinfectant, before and after guest handling, Wherever possible, switch your hard copy menus with a table talker and a simple QR code that guests can scan to access your online menu via their smartphones to minimize contact.
- Have a tea menu to decide blend, so guests only touch tea they consume versus the complete range from tea chest.
- Clean all teaware after each use including trays, tea timers and tea chest.
- Advise staff to place serving on the table and not directly hand to guests.
- Let guests open their tea envelopes themselves to reassure them of hygiene and safety with the seal-poof packaging from Lipton and Pure Leaf ranges.
- When serving from a tea pot, place empty cups upside down or use cup seals to ensure hygiene.
- Ensure loose leaf tea is served in teaware by staff to avoid guests touching the tea.
- Maintain a regular, mechanical cleaning and sanitizing routine and use downtime to deep clean your tea stations and boiler equipment.
Self-service: Beverage Corners in Workplaces, Meeting Rooms, and In-Room
- Serve enveloped tea bags to ensure hygiene and freshness - explore the wide variety of delicious, herbal blends from the Lipton Feel Good Selection range.
- Ensure blend and label information is clearly visible, so guests only touch the envelope they consume. Tip: provide tongs to help retrieve sachets from boxes.
- Equip tea stations with hand-sanitizers and regularly clean surfaces throughout the day with a disinfectant. Here is a quick cleaning checklist to help you get started.
- Place cups upside down or use cup seals to ensure hygiene. Encourage your employees to bring their personal mugs or cups to the office.
- Offer disposable cups to guests or staff when a dishwasher is not immediately available.
- Ensure disposable cups are not removed from packaging material.
Over the counter service: Bars, Cafes and Takeaway
- Regularly clean counter and pin.
- Ensure tea chest is presented to guests with its lid closed.
- Ensure guests do not touch tea envelopes that they do not consume.
- Place serving on the counter and do not hand directly to guests.