Hygienic dining in the new normal
By Celebration Packaging Managing Director, Nick Burton
Following the UK government’s lock down, announced in March, many restaurants shut down entirely, while others found ways to continue with new delivery and takeaway models.
For eat-in restaurants the latest government announcement is that, subject to the continued satisfaction of medical advice, some restaurants will be able to reopen on 4th July. However, spaces which are “crowded by design”, such as many pubs and walk-in restaurants will almost certainly have to wait longer.
Social distancing will present a logistical challenge, limiting the number of diners at any one time, sitting at tables that are 2 metres apart, paying only by contactless – but the top priority will be hygiene.
While restaurant owners begin to plan ahead for reopening, undertaking risk assessments for the health and safety of their staff, many will wonder to what degree the general public will want to return to eat-in, after a protracted period of home-delivery and takeaways, and ongoing concerns about a resurgence of the virus, brought about by contact.
Restaurant owners and managers will need to guarantee hygiene to operate safely and to entice customers back. Wiping down a table with a cleaning cloth will not be enough to guarantee the table's cleanliness or to promote confidence.
Celebration Packaging supply many different types of hygienic single-use paper table-top items such as place mats and tray liners, an alternative – or addition – to disposable table covers. Place mats / tray liners are supplied custom printed and can obviously include social distancing messages.
Celebration can also report that single use tissue coasters are also being considered as a replacement for the traditional beer mats as reusable beer mats are seen as a possible means of spreading the virus. In addition, Celebration have seen a big increase in demand for our stock plain white card glass covers. In preparation for an easing of lockdown, these crisp white glass covers present an attractive, cost effective, and environmentally friendly way of ensuring empty unused glasses and pre-served drinks remain hygienic, and reduce the risk of spillage during transportation.
This focus on the benefits of disposable paper items takes Celebration full-circle to the start of the business in 1983 when our first products were personalised tissue coasters.
Taking it a stage further, single use cutlery sleeves are also very popular as restaurants want their customers to know they are using clean uncontaminated cutlery. Some restaurants are actually resorting to using good quality disposable plastic cutlery to give their clients the most hygienic experience possible.
As restaurants begin planning how they will reopen, a move to using paper disposables to protect employees, customers and reputation will be key. Celebration Packaging is here to help the UK’s eat-in sector bounce back and is holding stock of all the hygiene-enhancing products mentioned above.