Business Owners: Don’t Let Your Store Employees Cause Your Business To Close During Pandemic

by Alex Lloyd Gross

The COVID-19 pandemic is killing businesses.  A serious uptick in cases means that shut downs and restrictions are coming. One  thing that is not helping is when employees of open businesses take matters into their own hands and make policy while they blame the pandemic..  Take, for example this gas station.. Back in March of this year, a rouge employee panicked and refused to accept cash.. When Attorney General Josh Shapiro found out, his office set them straight and within a few days, they were accepting cash again..

There are times that employees do not want to work during the pandemic. They are called “essential” but paid like grade school kids helping their fathers business. They risk their lives , stocking shelves or cleaning a store for $8.50/hr. That while they watch the company profits go through the roof as people panic buy.  One only has to remember back to March or April when the grocery stores were empty. The problem was not the food supply chain. The problem was stores could not get people to unload the delivery trucks.

To insure your workers come in and are giving good customer service, it is a good idea to give everyone a pay increase of a few dollars an hour.  When you insure customer service, you must reiterate to your employees the store policy.  Refusal to give discounts to customers when warranted or not allowing a customer to use the restroom is a great way to lose business.  With social media,  they will not complain to corporate, the offended person will put you on blast and before long hundreds or even thousands of people will chime in. Very soon, you will see a drop in customers .

Keep your business clean.  People feel safe when they see high touch things like door handles being wiped clean and sanitized.  If your employees are uncomfortable asking people to wear a mask,  hire a security officer.  People with asthma can shop online or call in their order.  Curbside pick up is not for everyone. Lots of people like to wander through the store to insure they are getting the best deal especially on items sold by weight, like meat and chicken.

Customers know how to get around limited quantities. The last thing you want to do is limit a family to a couple of pieces of chicken or steak when they have six mouths to feed.  Your store is only going to get bad mouthed and the customer will get their large quantities of food anyway. When Governor Wolf puts in more restrictions, people will get around them. Hairdressers will  take customers in through the back door.  The same with restaurants.If it comes down to closing a business or keeping it open by nefarious means, quite a few people will opt to defy the governor.

The bottom line is that COVID-19 is a virus that can kill you. It kills people and the restrictions kill businesses. If your business is deemed essential , speak with your employees about policy before one of them arbitrarily puts one in and kills your business for you.