As we know Hospitality is one of the biggest sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. Back in March 2020 COVID-19 was spreading fast throughout Europe and the UK, forcing businesses within the hospitality sector to close their doors.
It just so happened that the ‘Head of Infection Control and Facilities’ at the Hard Rock Group Europe saw one of our posts on social media. We were subsequently contacted to enquire how StepNpull could help them with infection control and making the business more COVID Secure.
‘StepNpull would prove to be the perfect product to combat the spread of infection and disease across their busy hospitality venues generating a very high daily footfall due to being a low cost but highly effective product, eliminating 100% of cross contamination from door handle contact’.
We spent many hours devising a plan on how to successfully rollout StepNpull ‘The Foot Handle’ to Hard Rock Cafe locations throughout the UK and Europe.
Our director Michael Janaway worked closely with the team at Hard Rock Cafe to successfully plan and facilitate the manufacture and distribution of large quantities of the StepNpull product within a tight deadline.
As these products would be customer facing every StepNPull dispatched was laser etched with the Hard Rock Cafe recognised brand visual.
Large quantities of StepNpull have been successfully distributed to Hard Rock Cafe locations throughout the UK and Europe, providing a powerful and reliable barrier in the fight against COVID19 and the spread of general infection.
Fire doors are a vital part of fire safety and can only do their job in preventing the spread of fire and smoke if they are closed. A few minutes of ‘propping’ a door open can lead to grave consequences. If a fire door is wedged open this means that a fire can spread, at worst it will slow down the fire and smoke so people can be evacuated safely, at best it will save lives and protect the building from damage.
Keeping a fire door shut can hold a fire in a room for up to 30 minutes, which would usually give Fire and Rescue Service the time to respond and be attending the fire before it has a chance to spread. This critically gives people time to escape or seek refuge, and also allows the emergency services a safe and protected route into the building. It is even possible that an insurer would not pay as a result of fire doors being left open and there are penalties for not following the rules. A Norwich Landlord was jailed for 21 months and the Humber Landlords Association were fined £100,000. Fire doors are there for a reason and must be kept closed
There are lots of reasons that people wedge open fire doors, we all know they can be a pain when you are carrying a tray of drinks or if you are trying to navigate big heavy luggage. They can be a struggle if you are in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy and now on top of everything else; we are all aware that touching door handles can transfer germs on to our hands. With the rise of Covid-19, more and more people are reluctant to touch door handles as they are afraid of contamination, however, where fire doors are concerned, it is not a solution to avoid germs by wedging a fire-door open.
There is a simple solution with a device called StepNpull® The Foot Handle, a foot operated door pull which mounts on any commercial latch-less wood or metal door, and gives the user the option of pulling the door open with their foot instead of the door handle. It is the perfect solution for providing a touchless passage through a door. The surface area of StepNpull® which is in contact with the door face is small and the bolt through fixing is the same as those used to fix pull handles to door leaves. Therefore, following the users own risk assessment, this simple device can be used on fire doors. Don’t use the Corona-virus pandemic as an excuse for keeping your fire doors open, it is not an excuse as fire is a killer and germs can be avoided by providing a solution in the form of hands free door opening – StepNpull® The Foot Handle
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of “hot spots” were identified early on where the virus spread to large populations in New York, Washington and California.
When it comes to spreading COVID-19, plus other germs, bacteria and viruses, every public building and business has hot spots as well. These are areas that dozens of people touch on a normal day.
Consider how many people touch a restaurant menu during a normal week. Think about how often somebody reaches for the toilet doors in your office. Try to count how many fingers and hands make contact with elevator buttons, railings, conference room tables and light switches in a given workday.
Each contact has the potential to leave behind and pass along droplets from a sneeze or cough. Surfaces also collect particles that people can emit by just talking or exhaling. These droplets can contain a number of illness-inducing germs.
In fact, according to researchers at the University of Colorado, the average person’s hand carries more than 3,000 bacteria from at least 100 species.
The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) cites studies of COVID-19 that suggest it can remain viable for hours or days on surfaces, regardless of the material. Furthermore, it’s possible for the virus to spread by a person touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
It’s not just the coronavirus that can live on surfaces. Bacteria can remain unchanged on an object after two weeks at room temperature. Studies have shown that influenza can survive on surfaces and can infect a person for up to eight hours.
It’s impossible to clean a common surface every time a person touches it. And no matter how much people are warned not to touch their faces, it’s become a habit too difficult for many to break.
The best way to minimize the spread of germs through common surfaces is to reduce the amount of contact altogether and a goal for all businesses to aim for in the post coronavirus world is to help employees and visitors avoid touching as many of the same surfaces as possible.
• Installing motion-detection lighting throughout their facilities to reduce the touching of light switches. This can also decrease energy bills as lights will only come on when needed, which is better for the environment.
• Updating water, ice and beverage dispensers so they don’t require a user to touch a surface with their used cup to make the machine dispense liquid.
• Encouraging employees, customers and visitors to avoid touching surfaces with their fingertips. This is the part of the hand most likely to transmit a virus. Instruct people to use objects such as pens to push elevator doors and tissues to grab handrails.
The new normal in the post pandemic world is that more people will think about how everyday actions can spread germs and viruses. This preoccupation will not be limited to germaphobes. People will for a long time remember how COVID-19 killed and sickened thousands and led to a virtual halt to our way of life.
A business that wants to appeal to employees and customers in this new world will take the necessary steps to minimise how many objects people have to touch.
We open so many doors in a normal day, the motion is automatic. The only difficulty we may have is knowing whether to push or pull a door open, or if the door is too “heavy.”
Of course, most people’s experience is using their hand to open doors. More and more, people don’t want to touch a public door handle with their hands, especially toilet exit doors. So that habit has been altered for many. Some even grab the door handle with a paper towel. If paper towels are not available, a shirt sleeve may be used.
The automatic motion of opening a door with hands is also disrupted when a person is carrying items and can’t easily grab the door handle.
In short, many people have altered their automatic motion of opening a door from time to time. So, it would be easy for people to adjust to opening a door with a StepNpull® foot-operated door opener. In fact, after a couple of tries, they’ll prefer the StepNpull® to using their hands. The choice always remains hand or foot to open the door you are not taking away a choice by adding StepNpull® you are providing a choice not to grab germ infested handles
Here are the simple steps to using this one-of-a-kind hands-free door opener.
1. Each StepNpull you buy comes with a decal/sticker that is affixed to the top of the door handle. This lets the user know that a foot-operated door opener is available before they touch the door handle with their hand.
2. As they approach the door, they position their body no differently than if they were going to use the door handle.
3. The user places their foot on the top of the StepNpull®. If they would use their left hand to pull the door handle, they will use their left foot on the StepNpull®. If it’s more natural to use their right hand on the handle, they will use their right foot.
4. The user presses down on the StepNpull® just enough to gain traction. This will require a minimal amount of foot pressure.
5. Once they have traction, they simply pull their foot and leg back as though they were taking a step. Step and pull. It’s that simple!
If the door is adjusted to the correct ADA standards, the user will gain enough momentum will to swing the door open easily.
People are accustomed to opening a door with their hands so the first couple of times may feel a bit awkward, but users in your facilities will adapt quickly and use the StepNpull® every time.
Customer experience is critical to the success of any business: a PwC survey found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. Subject people to two or three negative interactions and 92 percent will completely abandon you.
The customer’s experience involves every touchpoint with your company and brand. How easy is it to find information online? How long am I on hold when I call customer support? Are physical locations clean and are staff friendly?
Since March and going forward indefinitely, the customer experience now includes this question: Does doing business with this company put me at greater risk of getting sick?
COVID-19 created a new world in which more people realise how everyday actions can spread germs and viruses. For the foreseeable future, companies will have to take several steps to help customers feel safe and to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
Ironically, the best customer experiences in a COVID world may now be those that minimise face-to-face contact. Restaurants and retailers, especially, are looking to reconfigure stores to accommodate more online ordering, drive-through purchases, and expanded pickup and delivery. User-friendly mobile apps are the way forward if you want to operate your business in this manner.
Crowded waiting areas and long lines may be gone for good. That may mean taking more reservations and allowing fewer walk-ins to control the population at your business at any given time.
Many people will feel more comfortable in places where it’s easier to maintain a safe distance from others and in the event a close encounter is necessary, such as paying at a cash register, businesses are installing Perspex screens or clear partitions.
Many customers will only enter business locations that are scrupulously clean, especially the toilets.
Hundreds of employers and public facilities are targeting their doors as a way to minimise the spread of germs. Research has shown that door handles are a common carrier of harmful germs and bacteria, causing infections to spread such as E. coli, Staphylococcus, plus fungal and viral infections.
Installing hands-free, foot-operated door openers on all common doors, especially toilet doors, will minimise how often employees touch germ-infested door handles with their hands. This is an inexpensive fix; you can easily install a device for about £35 which will last for the lifetime of the door and guarantee 100% germ free passage
In the post-COVID-19 world, customers want to touch as little as possible with their own hands. If your business can’t deliver a hands-free experience to your customers, many of them will find a competitor who will.