Three Operators Discuss COVID-19 Best Practices In NAMA Webinar

May 1, 2020

Americans in several states will head back to the office this month as several states loosen COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Convenience services operators will need to face the challenges inherent in maintaining the highest levels of sanitation and customer service across all the sites that reopen. NAMA addressed this yesterday with its “Pivoting for High Performance: What Operators Should be Doing Today for a Winning Tomorrow" webinar, which about 325 industry professionals attended.

Eric Dell, NAMA’s senior vice president, external affairs, said that may have been a record number of attendees. He attributed that to the panelists: Lance Whorton, president and CEO of Imperial; Niki Morton, executive vice president of Casco Bay Food & Beverage; and Jeff Smith, chairman and CEO of All Star Services, Inc. 

The panelists addressed concerns related to several areas of operations management and what operators might expect moving forward in light of COVID-19. 

Smith said that All Star Services’ use of remote monitoring enabled them to adjust and consolidate routes at the beginning of the pandemic. Morton said the company has stressed the importance of sanitation throughout its operations, including vehicles, facilities and in the field. 

As state and local governments begin to allow businesses to reopen, they will roll out guidelines for business, Whorton noted.  

“I think it’s important to recognize that some of our nonessential customers haven’t been walking the halls like we have,” he said. “They haven’t been out servicing clients and taking care of customers. So, there’s a lot of fear and trepidation coming back.” 

Whorton said he appreciates the resources NAMA has provided to the industry and believes an industry-wide standard would be helpful in order to build consumer confidence. 

Smith said his company has informed each customer site what sanitation measures technicians and route personnel will take. 

“We’ve left no area for our people to guess anything different,” he said. “It’s all mandatory. This is a whole new procedure we’re going through, but I think it’s something that’s going to be the future.” 

The webinar’s slides can be viewed here. NAMA’s other resources related to the coronavirus are accessible here. Convenience services operators can contact NAMA via its Rapid Response Portal with any questions regarding government actions or other concerns regarding the coronavirus’s impact on the industry. 

PepsiCo sponsored the webinar.

Editor's note: To view NAMA's best practices document on Convenience Services Re-opening Guidelines, click here. They have also have specific checklists for micro market operators, vending operators and office coffee service and pantry operators.