As a FEC owner or operator, keeping your facility clean has never been more important.
Living in these unprecedented times has certainly posed new challenges for everyone, but especially for business owners looking to navigate through following new protocols and guidelines for safely operating when open to the public.
With viruses newly present in many geographical locations, how we live our daily life continues to drastically change daily. Because of this, its important to do everything you can to make your facility a space that guests feel comfortable and safe in order to push forward.
To help you achieve this, here are five pieces of advice to keep you "in the know" when it comes to the cleanliness of your family entertainment center.
When creating a reopening plan for your facility, it's important you know the difference between the terminology you use.
According to the CDC:
Make sure you communicate to the public using the correct terminology, so everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect.
Knowing this, you now need to decide which parts of your facility need to be cleaned and to what extent, as well as what products you're going to use on each to achieve the desired amount of cleanliness. Keep in mind, each product may have different directions for use in order for it to be used effectively, such as leaving the cleaning agent on the surface for a certain period of time. Be sure to read the directions for each product you're using to make sure you're using it correctly.
Obviously, each FEC will have a slightly different routine depending on what attractions there are etc., but all should focus on having areas and surfaces that are frequently touched cleaned routinely and often. A few examples of these include:
For high-traffic areas objects that aren't as easy to clean, check out this list from the EPA on products approved for disinfection use on soft and porous materials.
As mentioned before, cleaning schedules will vary, but objects most used in your facility should be cleaned most often. For example, it would be wise to have a disinfectant spray to use on customer facing payment devices after each use.
For larger attractions, its not going to be feasible to do the same. You'll likely need to clean these after hours when no one is in the facility anymore. Be sure to update your closing procedures and shift schedules to reflect the extra time needed.
Yes, this will mean you'll need to account for paying your staff for the extra time worked, but when you're taking measures to make sure your guests are as safe as possible, your revenue is bound to reflect that! Your guests notice the extra efforts business owners put in to protect them, and they'll be more likely to frequently return, knowing this is a place where their family can go to safely have fun.
And don't forget—make sure you have a schedule for maintaining your inventory of cleaning products. Whether you use an outside vendor or shop at the local grocery store or supply place, ensure you're ordering on a consistent schedule, and keeping track of your stock so you never run out of supplies.
Unless you're using all-natural alternatives that are proven to kill the germs you're fighting against, it's likely the products you're using can potentially be harmful to those using them, especially when exposed for long periods of time.
Your employees are going to be in your FEC the most out of anyone, so they should be at the top of your protection list!
Ensure both you and your staff are protected with the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for use while cleaning, especially if you're using supplies that contain harsh ingredients and chemicals such as bleach.
Protective equipment will likely be a combination of both items you provide for your staff such as masks, gloves, protective eye wear, soap and hand sanitizer, as well as uniform changes you should require staff adhere to (especially when cleaning) such as long-sleeved shirts, full-length pants, and closed-toed shoes.
The beginning of 2020 brought a lot of uncertainty in regard to health and cleanliness. New facts and ideas are being brought to light each day, and therefore, regulations and guidelines for businesses, especially as it pertains to the health and safety of society will be constantly changing.
Yes, you should have plans for your facility and stick to it. However, if anything you're doing now should be altered/updated to better align with the recommendations from government and state officials (or even recommendations from your staff or guests if they have ideas for how you can operate safer or more efficiently), you need to be open-minded!
Its important to also remember to be understanding.
Everyone has different opinions. Some people may voice opinions on how you run your business, but at the end of the day, you need to make the decisions that are best for you, your staff, your guests, and your business as a whole. Be respectful of others thoughts, and respond in a way that shows the great amount of thought you put behind every business decision you make.
Reopening your facility after a mandated closure isn't an easy task—that's why we want to help!
If you're looking for countless insights on how to make sure your family entertainment center is prepared to open its doors to the public again (once allowed), download your complimentary copy of our resource, The PCS "Pocket" Guide to a Successful FEC Reopening. In it, we hare a collection of potential scenarios and business aspects to keep in mind as you ready your facility to get back to business.
1 “How To Clean and Disinfect Schools To Help Slow the Spread of Flu.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 July 2018, www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm.