Curbside Pickup availability is a quickly approaching reality for retailers and that means it’s time to ensure proper protocol is in place to proceed safely and effectively.

Today is an exciting time as we inch our way towards the lifting of lockdown measures and reopening of stores however we need to recognize that it is vital we take more extreme measures than ever to ensure there isn’t a second virus outbreak.

That means rigorous cleaning, safety guidelines and training for your staff.

As outlined by the Ontario Government, the three key areas of importance all businesses must focus on are hygiene and sanitation, worker training and monitoring, and the big one, physical distancing.

With some basic planning and cooperation the goal of safe curbside pickup should be simple and attainable.

Hygiene and sanitization procedures

Employees working in close proximity to customers should be provided with proper protective equipment like a mask, gloves and disposable tissues.

They should also be given access to a hand washing area with soap and water.

Don’t forget to keep supplies on hand for the customers! Customers should be provided with access to sanitizer, wet wipes or tissues if they request it.
Although employees will be the only ones entering the store, it’s important to maintain a regular sanitization schedule for all frequently touched surfaces.

With close attention to areas easily missed like washroom surfaces.
Product preparation and packaging areas should be sanitized routinely as well as all products leaving the store need to be wiped down with a disinfectant before going out to the customer.

Employees need to remain aware of physical distancing protocol even when working inside the store.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is the big topic that everyones been talking about.
We as retailers need to be aware that crowds of people may form outside the building during peak hours and need to know how to manage that safely.

The easiest way to ensure customers are safely distancing is to provide tape lines spaced out 2 meters apart, along the front of the building.

It’s also a good idea to have a dedicated staff member directing people, propping the door open and distributing sanitizer where needed.
You may also want to hang some simple signs along the line explaining the social distancing measures your store has put in place for curbside pickup orders.

When possible limit the number of people outside by asking people to wait in their cars and place their orders online or by phoning in.

Prepayment options should also be made available to customers, otherwise a wireless terminal can be brought outside to provide touchless payment.

Train and Monitor Your Employees

It’s important to monitor your employees well-being at the beginning of every shift by performing regular health check ins and highlighting any symptoms of concern.

If an employee exhibits signs for concern or provides a doctors note, they should be sent home for 14 days to quarantine.

Make sure you train your staff on the new protocol for safe hygiene and physical distancing in the workplace.

Things like washing your hands frequently especially after touching money, covering coughs or sneezes and not touching their face while using gloves should be covered.

This climate is altering the environment in which we work in and we may see a change to our hygiene practices that lasts post pandemic.

For more information on best practices to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 please check out this document provided by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services: