A power failure at your place of work represents a serious disruption of business. If you’re managing a retail store or food establishment, you should take steps to minimize your losses and return to business as usual. Here are some tips for how to best handle this stressful and potentially costly situation.
Take Care of Perishables First
If you work in the food industry, a power outage can translate into spoiled food. Keeping your store’s inventory from going bad should be one of your first priorities.
Record your temperatures as soon as the power goes out. Cold food needs to have an internal temperature of less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. If food items rise above these temperatures, they must be cooled within 4 hours or thrown away. Perform another temperature check every 2 hours to make sure your items have not spoiled.
Otherwise, keep your refrigerators closed so that the cold air stays inside. You can also fill a container with ice and place it inside the cooler to maintain a lower temperature.
Call a Professional
A food or retail establishment needs power restored as quickly as possible. A commercial electrician will understand this, and they’ll usually respond as soon as they get your call. Make sure to give them clear directions to your location, and let them know if you have perishable items that might spoil.
Once you’ve found a great commercial electrician, hang onto their phone number for future incidents. Quick response times are necessary to get your store up and running again.
Discuss a Temporary Closure
Even if customers don’t mind that the lights are out, most tills don’t work without electricity. Speak to the manager or store owner about closing the establishment until the electrician has completed their work. You may also want to consider reducing the number of staff who are on shift, especially if another shift will be coming to replace them in a few hours.
Always check with the electrician before deciding to close up early. If they can get the power back on in less than an hour, you may not even need to shut the doors.
Post a note on the door of your business as soon as you know that the tills aren’t working. This will reduce the number of customers that you need to verbally turn away.
Your note should include a statement of the problem, an estimate of when services will return, and a short apology to your customers. Take a moment to make sure that the note stays within your business’s brand identity; you might want to use corporate stationery, and you should enlist the help of the employee with the best handwriting.
Electrical failures can’t always be avoided, but they can always be handled with a professional attitude. Make decisions that prioritize the inventory of the business, the owner’s losses, and the safety of your customers and staff. With any luck, the power will be back on in an hour or two and your losses will be minimal.