Curbside pickup was almost unheard of pre-pandemic. Now, it’s a necessary option to make sure you’re not turning away business unnecessarily. It’s also a great way to reduce the exposure to COVID-19 that your employees face.
Whether you implemented curbside pickup early or you’re just starting, there are a few things to do and consider to reduce your risk and liability.
Designate a parking area and procedures for pickup
Curbside parking should not block traffic and it should not require your employees to cross high-traffic areas. Nor should it require patrons to back out into traffic when they leave. The parking area also needs to be located in a well-lit area. Also, put up signs that tell customers what to do when they arrive: what number to call and what information is needed. This helps streamline the process and keeps everyone safe.
Check for safety hazards
You need to do this before you set up curbside service and continue checking regularly to catch problems before they arise. Look for areas that could lead to slips, trips, and falls for employees and fix any issues you see. Make sure the designated parking area has enough lighting. Don’t wait for someone to complain that a light has gone out in the parking lot. Walk the area on a weekly basis, during the day and when it’s dark out.
Establish procedures for employees to follow
Make sure employees wear masks while interacting with customers. They also need to wear appropriate non-slip shoes to reduce the chance of a slip or fall. You may want to provide high visibility vests or a hat for employees so they’re easily identifiable to customers. Have a plan for how orders will be taken out to customers — in a bag, box, or other carrier. Advise employees to wash their hands before and after each interaction.
Require patrons to pay in advance
If at all possible, offer curbside pickup for customers who have paid in advance. This eliminates the need for an employee to carry cash or a credit card between multiple points — reducing theft and accusations of theft. You’ll also reduce the risk of a customer placing an order they can’t pay for. Paying in advance also streamlines the pickup process, meaning customers get in and out more quickly.
Make sure you have enough insurance
Workers’ compensation is required by law in every state with, very few exceptions. You should already have coverage. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage for curbside service. Employees will be at higher risk of injury due to their interaction with customers in the parking lot. Be prepared for more slips, trips, and falls, as well as potential hazards from vehicles in the parking lot.
Curbside pickup is a great way to keep your business running while keeping customers and employees safe. When done well, it increases revenue and provides a necessary service for vulnerable customers. However, that doesn’t mean it’s completely risk-free. That’s why it’s important to have the right kind of insurance for your business.
Contact Charlotte Insurance today to discuss your current policy or receive a free quote for a new policy.