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Here’s what businesses look like as they begin to reopen



Gott's patio with partitions

As states begin to loosen restrictions, businesses are exploring how to reopen and adjust to the new normal in this COVID-19 environment. From reduced occupancies to socially distanced check-out lines, we’ve collected some snapshots of the ways businesses have adapted their stores and workplaces to help keep everyone safe.

Sanitization and social distancing

Essential businesses like grocery stores and retailers paved the way in the early days of COVID-19—they sanitized all carts and baskets between customers and indicated safe social distancing in their check-out lines using markers on the floor, spaced six feet apart.

These practices are now spreading even wider—to fitness studios, salons, restaurants, and more.

Please keep social distance sidewalk markers

PowerCycle, a cycling studio in Milwaukee, communicates their sanitization, safety, and social distancing protocols on social media so that customers are informed and prepared before they arrive.

Images from PowerCycle

Bellacures, a nail salon franchise in Dallas and Los Angeles, will ask customers to use hand sanitizer before touching nail polish bottles and expects to operate at about 50% capacity in order to maintain safe social distancing.

Regular roadways are also being closed off from vehicles so that businesses can expand their operations into the streets. The “Dine Out on Broadway” program in Chicago closed a handful of major streets to allow for more restaurant tables and chairs.

Technology and virtual services

The days of waiting a half hour for a table in the lobby of a busy restaurant perusing a sticky laminated menu are over. Technology is helping restaurants serve guests in the new age of low-contact dining. 

Digital menus

Many states are requiring restaurants to use digital or disposable menus. Be sure to include a current menu on your website as well as your Yelp Page so diners can easily access the information without having to handle a physical menu—like Miami’s World Famous House of Mac has done. 

Hatch Good Mood Food in Oklahoma asks that customers look at their menu online to avoid wasting the disposable menus onsite.

Digital waitlist apps

Café Benelux in Milwaukee seats tables inside, outside, and on the rooftop using Yelp Waitlist to avoid restaurant congestion—allowing guests to check the wait time and add their name to the seating queue.

And while diners are slowly returning to dine in, takeout continues to show its staying power and is expected to play a bigger part in the restaurant industry for the long term, even when regular service gets back to a relative normal. To help manage the influx of takeout orders, restaurants like J&M Diner are creatively using Yelp Waitlist.

Appointments only

Many businesses are only allowing guests to come in if they have an appointment, which will help with potential crowds or long lines. Salon D’Shayn in Phoenix, Arizona is using this appointment-only method, and going a step further, they’re also requiring guests to review and sign a COVID-19 waiver prior to coming in for their appointment.

To help control the efficiency and flow of business, some places are only allowing existing clients (or fur babies) as operations ramp back up, like Doggie Day Spaw in San Francisco. When you arrive, they come to the front to take your pup and swap your leash/collar/harness with their own slip lead to ensure minimal contact. Plus all payment is contactless and done through email and online services. 

Protective barriers

We’ve seen it already in grocery stores—shields at the register to protect consumers and employees. Now companies around the country are designing and selling shields for all different industries, including Ottawa’s EzGARD, and Louisville’s HMI Cardinal.  

Gott’s Roadside in San Francisco now houses towering lush partitions between their outdoor tables to keep guests separated.

Vinpearl Nail & Spa in San Antonio constructed their own box shields to keep customers and staff safe during pedicures.  

Protective shields at Vinpearl Nail & Spa
Photo of Vinpearl Nail & Spa from Kimberly D. on Yelp

Want to share how your business or a business in your community is reopening?

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The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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