Bakers Journal

Crisis preparedness for your bakery

March 18, 2020
By Bakers Journal

Hand-washing aside, there are many measures that can help your bakery survive after the Cornavirus crisis.

Photo by Anna Shvets

Many businesses fear extreme debt and closure in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantines. Some bakeries that were already downsizing have cut their losses and closed altogether. For bakeries that offered in-store seating and samples now are asked to close seating areas and halt sampling to reduce any chance of contamination.

Groceries and bakeries that offer baskets or buggies are recommended to disinfect the handles on an hourly basis, and wipe down the payment systems with disinfectant cloths.

Restaurants Canada has offered resources such as their COVID-19 Jurisdiction Tracker for an overview of measures that might impact operations in your region. The association has also designed a “Crisis Preparedness and Business Continuity Guide” to help foodservice operators mitigate the business impacts of crises.  Download the guide here and customize to your unique business needs.

Aside from disinfecting carts and baskets, many independent food industries, such as Toronto’s The Sweet Potato have established hand sanitizing stations, and have staff helping customers at the bulk dispensing station to help minimize contact with the plastic bags. The shop made a not on their site stating that fixtures are regularly cleaned, and scoops and tongs sanitized. Though The Sweet Potato normally supports plastic reduction incentives such as encouraging a ‘bring your own’ container for bulk foods and prepared foods, the company cannot accept outside containers in their bulk nor deli section at present.

  1. Check to see if your jurisdiction has been affected: A COVID-19 Jurisdiction Tracker has been set up by Restaurants Canada to see what new measures your business could take to protect itself.
  2. Temporarily halt ‘hospitality’ offerings of free coffee and fruit: In an effort “Flatten the Curve” many shops are not offering free beverages, samples or snacks for clients to minimize contamination.
  3. Disinfect baskets and cart handles hourly
  4. Disinfect payment systems (Interact keypads) with a disinfectant wipe after each client. Try to encourage clients to ‘tap to pay’ instead of cash, where possible.
  5. Have staff fill bulk bins for clients (for buns, ingredients, etc) to minimize exposure to tongs, bags and food.
  6. Send home any staff who are ill. 
  7. Offer take out and discounts on orders for food and gift certificates: When the end to social distancing comes, clients can treat themselves.
  8. See if there is funding available: Look into the Federal Government’s Emergency Care Benefit package.

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