UPDATE: Here we are, nine months later, and we are still in the grips of the Corona Virus pandemic. We’ve gone through widespread, unprecedented shut-downs and re-openings, only to be faced with the possibility of shut-downs again, as we navigate the holiday season. The trucking industry as a whole continues to play a critical role in the global supply chain, helping stores stock their shelves and helping concerned consumers get the goods they need. Ensuring the safety of your employees and customers must remain your top priority.

There’s no playbook for how truck stops should operate under these conditions. However, there are best practices franchisees and truck stop owners can follow. Read on to learn more.

Deep Clean Your Truck Stop. Every Inch of It

Hire professionals to deep clean everything inside the truck stop, the entryways, the exterior, any surface that a customer or employee could possibly touch. When the deep clean occurs, no one should be inside the building except for the professional cleaners. No exceptions.

Then, you must use best-practices to keep clean and disinfected. Here are the latest CDC guidelines on Cleaning and Disinfecting your facility:

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Require Your Customers to Use Social Distancing

You’re going to have people in a line to get fuel, be it truckers using OTR fleet cards or drivers of passenger cars paying to get gas. Shut this down before that line grows. 

Institute a policy that people need to be six feet apart in line. Never allow more than 10 people within the truck stop.

Ask for Credit Card Transactions over Cash

While there’s no confirmed information that COVID-19 transmits through money, it’s easier to sanitize an EMV card reader than it is to clean money. It’s also faster and reduces hand-to-hand transactions. You won’t be able to require credit, but you can respectfully ask

Employees Need to Wear Masks and Latex Gloves, Wipe Down the Card Reader in Between Purchases, and Social Distance

Your employees need to wear  masks and social distance from each other and the customers. If this is impossible in your checkout setup, consider installing plexiglass barriers between the employee and the customer.

Your employees do need a large stash of disposable latex gloves that they can wear–one per shift. They should wipe down the card reader in between transactions. 

For diesel fuel islands, use self-pay only. 

Whenever possible at your truck stops, ask customers to self-pay options.

No Sitdown Dining, No Matter What

Dining establishments have largely stopped sitdown service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Why? It prevents people from having prolonged exposure to one another. 

If you have a restaurant of any kind at your truck stop, stop serving sitdown clients. You can offer to-go orders and have customers pick up their food outside or at a drive-through window. 

Don’t allow any congregating of customers or employees in groups greater than 10.

Make an Informed Decision about Shower and Laundry Facilities

Many truckers live on the road, almost permanently. They rely on truck stops to get showered up and to clean their clothes. With many hotels, motels, and Airbnbs closing down, this dependence will grow. 

If you can reasonably limit the number of people using showers and laundry (fewer than six people in a room, again six feet apart), then you might be able to keep those facilities open. If not, skip it. 

Remember that your cleaning staff will have to professionally clean these facilities multiple times a day.

Prepare But Don’t Stress. Contact Financial Fuel Services to Learn More.

The precautions you take will help your customers, employees, and community. At Financial Fuel Services, we care deeply about our client’s health and well-being. We’re here to support, educate, and assist. Please feel free to reach out to us with further questions about how to prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak.