Creating a welcoming environment for customers after the lockdown

Did someone say plants can assist with social distancing, as well as create a welcoming environment and improve physical and mental wellbeing? 

After several months of lockdown, Britain made some steps towards returning back to normal during June when non-essential retail businesses were given the all-clear to re-open.  Pubs, cafes, restaurants and other hospitality businesses in England were also given the go ahead to reopen from the 4th of July, albeit under new guidelines. 

How to create a welcoming, but safe environment for employees and customers will be top of the list for many businesses as they plan to reopen, and the power of plants could be part of the solution to the unique challenges business owners face in the age of social distancing. 

 

Welcoming employees and customers in

Plants create a welcoming environment and can help to improve physical and mental wellbeing, in two ways. The first is biophilia – humanity’s innate need to connect with nature and the natural environment. This means that people are naturally drawn towards environments with natural elements, and plants can help to create a natural atmosphere in its simplest form. Second, plants can help to improve indoor air quality by absorbing pollutants such as formaldehyde as well as reducing dust particulates. 

 

Encouraging social distancing

Retailers and hospitality businesses will need to limit the number of customers they can allow into their premises at any given time, in the same way many of us will have experienced at ‘essential’ retail stores during the pandemic. This will often lead to queues forming outside premises, and plants can be used to indicate where queues should be formed, and where people should stand.  Carefully positioned planters can also provide a more welcoming, attractive and engaging way for customers to easily maintain safe social distancing not only while queuing, but also as they navigate walkways and through reception areas. 

Why not use brightly coloured flowering plants to mark the queue leading to your business? With a wide range of plants and flowers available, plants can be selected that match the colour scheme of your establishment or brand. If space permits, you could also use indoor plants in a similar way inside your store or establishment – helping to direct traffic flow and manage one-way systems, while still maintaining social distancing. 

 

Creating a positive experience

Retail and hospitality businesses are always looking for repeat business, and alongside delivering a great service, creating a welcoming environment is part of the customer experience you provide, and another way that you can encourage return visits. 

Don’t underestimate the power of plants in providing a positive impact on your customers and helping your business to bounce back when you reopen. Plants can help your customers fulfil their need to connect with nature, and whether they are outdoors in hanging baskets or indoors in planters, fresh or artificial, plants and flowers can help your business to deliver a great impression for your customers.  

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