COVID-19 Business Readiness
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Reeves issued a “Safer at Home” order that will remain in place through May 11. Social distancing is still strongly encouraged and businesses that cannot avoid personal contact are closed: salons, gyms, spas, and tattoo parlors. Entertainment and amusement businesses such as casinos, theaters, bars and museums are still closed. Beginning May 7, Gov. Reeves announced that he will allow restaurants to offer limited in-house dining and larger outdoor gatherings of 20 or less. Restaurants will be allowed to open indoor and outdoor dining as long as capacity is limited to 50% and servers wear masks. All in-house dining establishments must adhere to these mandates.
Steps toward reopening:
- Develop a written plan
- Writing a plan can show that you have thought through risks in advance. A plan can also convey that you care about your customers, staff, and others.
- Follow your plan
- Plans that sit on a shelf and don’t get followed are worthless. Make sure you’re following your plan. It’s one thing to say you don’t want your employees to come to work if they are sick. It’s another thing to follow through with it.
- Communicate the plan to your employees
- Meet with your staff and talk about the new procedures
- Explain the importance of the new procedures
- Allow staff to ask questions to make sure they understand it fully
- Rehearse proper cleaning techniques with staff members
- Communicate what you’re doing to prepare for reopening to customers. This can go a long way in reassuring them that it is safe to return.
- Use your social media or email newsletters to show what you’re doing (videos of you or staff cleaning; show photos of staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment)
- Develop signage to reinforce the new rules – this will remind customers as well as employees
Communications & Messaging
When the time is right to reopen your business, please use the resources we have provided below in an effort to maintain consistency and address potential questions and/or concerns from visitors and guests.
- First, watch the Sparkloft Media webinar recording: Understanding the Mindset of the Post-Crisis Consumer
- Learn how to adjust your messaging to the current traveler mindset
- Review PETERMAYER’s Travel Research COVID 1st Wave results, which helps you better understand and communicate to the current traveler psyche
- Frequently Asked Questions Template (editable for your business)
- This can be printed to leave in hotel rooms or provided to visitors upon arrival, can be used in your email and phone correspondence with guests/visitors, and can be a helpful guide for your social media responses.
- Sample social media messaging
- Sample email newsletter language
- Sample website alert messaging
- PeterMayer's Impact on Travel Attitudes & Intentions Wave 2
Is your business incorporating a unique tool or safeguard to protect your guests/customers? Please share with us below!
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- Mississippi State Department of Health Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces
- U.S. Travel Association: Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers
- Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
- ServSafe Takeout & ServSafe Delivery
- ServSafe Food Handler
- Requirements for operating restaurants in Mississippi can be found within this comprehensive state-by-state guide produced by National Restaurant Association
- National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Resources
- COVID-19 Reopening Guidance: A Guide for the Restaurant Industry
- Restaurant Industry Blueprint for Recovery by National Restaurant Association - Learn more about a target relief plan for your restaurant.
- Q&A from the American Hotel & Lodging Association by Cozen O'Connor - Questions and answers for the hotel industry for planning and return to occupancy.
- Park & Play Program by NGCOA - Review coronavirus protocols for open golf courses.