Creative solutions to keep businesses open, customers safe
President Donald Trump declared COVID-19 a National Emergency for the United States. As of Thursday, that was 251 days ago, and even as surges continue across the state and country, shops have been forced to modify their practices.
Thinking outside the box is necessary to keep customers and employees safe during a pandemic.
“We’ve had to get creative,” said Rick Cowen, the general manager at Super Lube Plus. “We’ve done the credit card over the phone, we’ve talked to the customers with the windows closed, we’ve gotten their credit cards numbers without the credit card.”
“You have to be creative and make it, so everyone is comfortable– that’s what it’s all about,” said Lori Eggergluess, the owner of Mystique Edge Day Spa and Salon. “We don’t want anyone to come in here and just be full of tension.”
At both Mystique Edge and Super Lube Plus, employees are wearing masks and social distancing as best they can.
Super Lube Plus lets customers stay inside their cars during oil changes. Customers are able to give their credit card information over the phone. Mystique Edge also has new payment options.
“We’ve started some new memberships so their card, their payment is taken care of, and they don’t even have to stop at the front desk,” said Eggergluess. “Some of the other stuff we’ve done is we have a portable credit card machine, so while they’re sitting in the chair, we can bring it over to them, and then it can be taken care of there.”
Eggergluess said the salon closed for five weeks, then went to half-staff for about a month. The front desk employees at Mystique Edge periodically wipe down every door handle and station, while hairstylists are in every other chair, and there are dividers at manicure stations.
Cowen said business at Super Lube Plus also slowed in March but has since picked back up. They are staying busy and adapting as needed.
“We started our procedures early, when March first happened,” said Cowen. “It’s not going to change, as far as what we do because we’ve already pretty much got that in place. We’ve just got be to as careful as we were before and keep that going.”
Both Eggergluess and Cowen do not think a mask mandate would change their day to day operations, as Eggergluess said most of her customers are comfortable and willing to wear masks.