According to both the CDC and the National Restaurant Association, one major area they recommend restauranteurs should focus on improving prior to fully opening is their indoor air quality (IAQ). Poor indoor air quality is a significant concern for restaurants, especially at a time when health is foremost in everyone’s minds. Aside from good hygiene and sanitation, there is now a critical need to ensure safety for the customers and employees. Studies show a number of coronavirus outbreak cases can be traced to indoor spaces with poor air quality issues such as restaurants. Harmful pollutants, inadequate ventilation and high or low humidity and temperature can cause health symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea and a general feeling of discomfort. Providing a high-quality dining experience is not just about the quality of the food. When customers are hesitant to dine in restaurants and employees complain of feeling sick while working, restaurants need to step up their game when it comes to health and safety standards, which includes improving indoor air quality.
By optimizing air quality, restaurants can ease customers’ anxiety over the risk of virus exposure and transmission while providing a safe and comfortable environment for the staff. As customers look for clear evidence that the restaurant is a safe place where they can enjoy themselves, owners can leverage on this by sharing information about their indoor air quality practices that signifies their commitment to providing a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. In this new era, businesses that understand how to keep customers safe – and effectively communicate their efforts – will be the ones who win. The quality of the air inside the restaurant has indeed become an essential factor to safely re-open and stay open for business. Following the standard guidelines for hygiene and sanitation is no longer sufficient to ensure health and safety. A better understanding of your restaurant’s indoor air quality and where issues are most likely to occur is a good starting point to improve your IAQ.