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How to Plan Social Distancing For Your Market Stall

The re-opening of markets across the UK on 1 June 2020 marked a milestone in the government’s plan to kickstart the economy, with Covid-19 lockdown measures eased as part of a gradual plan to reopen the economy.

The transmission of coronavirus is lower outdoors, and it’s easier to follow guidelines in open spaces, which means market stalls are able to keep customers safe as long as the correct social distancing and sanitising measures are kept in place.

For many businesses working in the hospitality industry, hiring or buying a market stall is a great investment in the future of your business, and an ideal opportunity to keep customers engaged with your products.

As restaurants and cafés remain closed except for delivery and collection options, these new measures could lead to the resurgence of the market stall, and a whole new world of opportunity for your business!

1. Keeping your market stall safe

When considering investing in a market stall for your company, the Food Standards Agency has published some helpful guidance for managing social distancing in specific food business settings. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The main safety concern with outdoor food markets is to avoid crowds gathering. Food market stall-holders need to consider how to achieve these measures while ensuring social distancing reminders are clearly visible and hand hygiene facilities are available.
  • Market stalls should also feature separate and clearly sign-posted Order and Collection points as part of a one-way system. This simple system will support social distancing for customers and avoid footfall congestion.
  • Customers queuing to place orders should be staggered to discourage crowding when collecting their orders, with a regulated 1-2 metre distance maintained between people waiting to shop, which is outlined by clear floor markings.
  • Consider taking advance orders online or by telephone, and pre-packaging products such as fresh grocery items to limit the handling of goods and face-to-face time.

2. Welcoming customers to your market

The overall market should be broken up as spaciously as possible, with adequate distancing between stalls, and ‘mini market’ areas created within the trading area. You want your customers to feel safe and welcome, with the reassurance of visible guidelines and efficient systems to create a great retail experience! Effective measures to support this will vary by location, but it’s smart to consider:

  • Investigate measures to allow safe, privileged access, to elderly and frontline workers such as NHS and Social Care staff.
  • Use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the market if they have symptoms.
  • Entry and exit points throughout the market must be regulated to avoid overcrowding.
  • Signs should direct customers into social distanced, pedestrianised lanes.
  • Staff should monitor the number of customers in market areas to avoid footfall congestion around market stalls.
  • Install a one-way system to guide customers through the market, with floor markings encouraging people to stay one to two metres apart, and free hand sanitiser stations or soap and water facilities also in place.
  • As they arrive, shoppers should be made aware of all the measures in place, social distancing markers on the ground, to clearly-marked queuing systems for the collection and payment of their purchases.
  • Queue management systems should be in effect to limit crowds gathering at entrances, and maintain the 1 to 2 metre distance between customers.
  • Regular announcements should be made to remind customers to follow social distancing advice and regularly clean their hands for 20-seconds during their visit.

3. Keeping your market stall safe

You want your market stall to feel as safe for staff as it does for customers, so make your staff feel as confident as possible when working by considering the following:

  • For stall holders, wearing face masks is recommended, and it’s well worth considering installing Plexiglass barriers for added protection to both yourself and customers when visiting your stall.
  • Customers should keep a safe 1 to 2 metre distance from stall-holders and other market visitors to minimise opportunities for the virus to spread between individuals.
  • Encourage contactless payments where possible by investing in a card reader, with transaction limits by credit or debit card payment now raised to a £45 limit.
  • Use signage to remind stall holders and visitors to wash their hands for 20-seconds and more frequently than normal.
  • Remind visitors they will be expected to keep to social distancing rules and follow instructions from stallholders and staff to stay safe.

4. Buying or hiring your market stall

Big Kahuna are experienced Street Food and event caterers who are able to provide advice on size, style, and equipment to help your business make the right choice of market stall. Big Kahuna create completely mobile, unique designs, tailored to your bespoke business requirements, and are quick to set-up from only five-to-ten minutes.

To make sure you attract footfall and keep your brand at the top of everyone’s list, Big Kahuna also offer a full-branding service, and are more than happy to collaborate to turn your ideas into big, beautiful, market stall space!

Along with your market stall, Big Kahuna can supply additional signage, banners, menu boards, flyers, flags – and just about anything else you might need to take your business outdoors! Take a look to find the perfect market stall specification for your business from a variety of smart, contemporary designs to buy or hire from Big Kahuna .

Find further information and the latest social distancing updates on GOV.UK.