Ensuring your coffee shop is a safe environment for both your staff and customers is an essential part of running a business and should not be overlooked.
As a leading coffee shop franchise in the UK, Esquires Coffee is dedicated to providing safe and reliable environments for all employees and customers. There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when ensuring your coffee shop is reaching government requirements, and we have some essential tips to help you get started.
In this blog, we offer a general health and safety overview as well as providing coffee-specific health and safety checks you should carry out!
The Effects of COVID-19
First and foremost, during the time of the coronavirus pandemic, it is worth mentioning that any social distancing measures must be correctly implemented.
Social distancing will be reduced from two metres to one metre plus. However, the required measurement between customers will need to be reflected in any table layout and queuing procedures. Not also forgetting, businesses will need to provide sanitising stations and signage throughout the vicinity as well as a regulated entrance system where necessary.
Regular Health and Safety Risk Assessments
The process of reviewing the health and safety of any business will begin with an assessment. This will ensure any potential risks have been minimised.
For this, you will have to review some of the following aspects of the coffee shop:
• The safety and durability of any cooking or drink-making equipment including correct serving cups are available, there are clear indicators for measurements and fill-lines on equipment and cups (especially for hot drinks), serving trays are non-slip, and there are grips on hot serving wands.
• Heat from cookers, kettles and coffee machines.
• How to minimise any potential injuries from sharp objects, such as knives.
• Accessibility of entrances and exits, such as narrow walkways, tables and steps.
• Trip hazards throughout the café, such as changes in floor levels, have adequate signage.
Not all hazards are included in the above list, and each health and safety assessment is subjective to each business and location. Ideally, a coffee shop will need to try to identify anything that could potentially harm a person and the likelihood of this happening.
What Else to Question for the Health and Safety Risk Assessment?
In order to really cover as much as you can through the assessment and ensure you have thought of suitable solutions to decrease the chance of any potential harm or injury, you may want to consider the following:
• Types of tasks which will be completed throughout the day, which equipment is used and how equipment should be cleaned after use.
• Cleaning and maintenance tasks which will require specific equipment or extra caution from certain substances.
• Consider when and how often cleaning tasks should be complete.
• Make sure you have clear separation and cleaning processes in place for different dietary requirements and allergies.
• Any part of your premises that could seem harmful due to its current state.
• Any work practises that exist which require updating, or perhaps they don’t exist at all yet.
Health and Safety Tip
A good tip is to look through old health and safety assessments and accident records from the previous business or building owner. This may give indication to any other unusual hazards which may not be obvious or you may not have thought of.
Ensure your Health and Safety Law Poster is Displayed
As an employer of any staff member working in the café, you must ensure you have clearly displayed the health and safety law poster so workers can view it. Alternatively, you can also supply each employee with their own leaflet with the equivalent information as on the poster.
It is also worth mentioning here that all workers must complete sufficient training in order to complete their job role as safely as possible, including training on food poisoning and allergies.
Implement Procedures to Avoid Food Poisoning
As a coffee shop, any food and drink available to customers will need to be free of any food poisoning. This means food or substances:
• Have not been cross-contaminated.
• Are handled in food/drink areas which uphold excellent levels of hygiene.
• Are stored correctly.
• Are cooked or heated properly.
In each health and safety assessment, the subject of food poisoning will no doubt take up a majority of the article.
How to Ensure Adequate Food Hygiene
In order for food hygiene to be of the highest level, there are two main precautions you can take.
Firstly, ensure food hygiene training is made available to every employee with the completion of a basic food hygiene certificate.
Secondly, emphasise and ensure that all food hygiene procedures are compulsory. This will also include any stock checks and food rotations.
Coffee Machine Care
To ensure your coffee machines are as safe as possible, you will need to ensure the following:
• That the machine is annually inspected.
• That the machine is regularly and correctly maintained and cleaned by your employees
Hopefully, our checklist gives you a brief overview of some of the things to consider for the safety of your coffee shop. Of course, this article should only serve as a guide and is not reflective of the thorough, location-specific procedures we have in place at each of our stores. Should you want any further information, please do reach out to us.
About the author - Jack Anderson
Jack has been working in the franchise sector for over 12 years and is our in-house guru on all things business! Jack is also a keen hiker and can be found in some of the UK's best walking spots on the weekends.
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