If you’ve not seen News of it since the arrival of Covid-19, there’s a great deal about it from news outlets at home and abroad. It’s a life-sucking, mind bender of a phenomenon called Hygiene Theatre, and it’s likely hurting your restaurant business. 

Let’s unpack what it is, and then explore solutions that will allow you to replant your tables with staff and patrons. 

Hygiene Theatre arose from the idea of “security theatre” which originally appeared in the 2003 book from security expert Bruce Schneier, Beyond Fear, as reported by The Guardian writer, Sirin Kale. 

We can see it in all of the unnecessary washing of potentially virus-bearing surfaces the medical community refers to as fomites. Kale also wrote that seeing this constant, excessive cleaning gives people a false sense of security.

“Surface transmission of COVID-19 is not justified at all by the science,” Emanuel Goldman, a microbiology professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said. He also emphasized the primacy of airborne person-to-person transmission.

As The Atlantic put it, the rub of constant surface sanitation goes something like this: A city knows its oceans are rife with limb munching sharks. Yet, instead of warning people off the beaches, or closing them down, the city decides to refurbish its boardwalks. 

At the onset of Covid, many businesses were blinded by the barrage of directions coming out of the world’s health agencies. Mask up, wash constantly, and keep your distance, that’s what we heard.

As a result, many types of consumer-facing business operators grew way too comfortable way too fast as they came to think of hand-washing and cleaning the you-know-what out of everything as an invisible shield against viral infection. 

These directions have since become, and continue to be, confusing for many businesses.With the arrival of Covid, the near tunnel vision focus on cleaning surfaces got out of hand for restaurant owners, and super quickly. Think of the profits Lysol earned at the height of Covid. 

But, hey, wait a second, now we know Covid is an airborne threat. The skinny from the CDC informs us that “each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection.”  So, we know adequate ventilation is key and that surface contamination is an exaggerated risk, according to The Lancet. Thus what had been a comforting aspect of Covid-preparedness became little more than hygiene theater.

Meanwhile, as you are likely already aware, expenses mounted for restaurants who lost customers and staff as the landscape changed right under their feet. Customers and staff were spooked. Everyone was. 

As an owner of a multi-unit enterprise, or of a Mom and Pop-style eatery, you are likely to know, the restaurant industry was hit harder than any other. It saw many of its loyal, experienced workforce leave as the pandemic raged. 

Consumers fled, and numerous owners were forced to close their doors. In short, trust became increasingly difficult to come by.

How do restaurant owners replant their tables with loyal patrons and honored workers? Building trust needs to be carefully and thoughtfully earned. 

As people return to work smart businesses will reseed that bond of trust between employer and employee with a balance of flexibility, transparency and open communication. 

Fostering behavioral norms and cultivating a culture of trust generally allows individuals to feel more loyal to their organization while at the same time empowering them to proactively solve problems. Which is why understanding Employee and Guest Experience is such a hugely important two-way street.

Employee satisfaction surveys can help retain employees, and Health & Safety Audits create a safe space for employees and guests without the needless theatrics. Both of which will also go a very long way toward helping you keep the pulse of your business by growing trust for everyone at your table.

With our robust business intelligence solutions, we can help you understand exactly what your customers value, and more importantly, how that relates to their satisfaction.

Think of trust as the water source for positive employee-employer relationships. It’s what makes everyone in your business orbit, both employees and guests, feel safe, productive, and secure. 

Fenix Verify can help your restaurant farm that essential ingredient of consumer and staff trust with robust business intelligence, with access to a growing, mobile workforce 5,000,000 strong, 120 countries deep. 

We’re here for one reason, to help you achieve all of your business goals as painlessly as possible. Request your Demo today, at info@fenixverify.com.


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