Losing power is a common occurrence and usually happens at the most inconvenient time.
Retail businesses are very reliant on power for cash registers, EFTPOS and security systems as well as the usual lighting and air conditioning.
Having a set plan of what to do if you lose power, can help make the experience a lot safer for everyone and reduce the inconvenience to customers. Having a” plan B” can enable you to resume normal service quickly.
The links below provide you information on how to create a backup plan and common causes of outages.
When you create your plan, think about how you will keep your customers, team and stock safe. A blackout can cause people to panic and can be an opportunity for crime to be committed. Think about how you can manage this situation. For example – have a working torch at the cash desk, station a staff member by the door to deter customers from leaving without paying, switch off/unplug equipment to avoid surge damage if no protection exists already.
You need to think about what will work in your environment. Once you have come up with a plan, make sure your team are aware of it and have had a practice outage.
When an outage occurs, your well trained team will immediately put the plan into action. You will need to contact your power supplier to find out how long the outage will last so you can make a decision whether to close the business. You may not be able to find this out, as the power company may not know where the fault is or how long it will take to repair. Remember, you may need to pay your staff if you send them home depending on their employment conditions.
These links give you the contact details for your energy suppliers so you can report outages using your phone and find out how long you will be without service.
After the power has been restored you will need to plug in/switch on equipment that you may have turned off to protect from surge or that turned off naturally during the outage.
Food safety after a power outage
The link gives information on what to do with food on the premises. You will need to temperature check any chilled or frozen food products you have and abide by your food safety plan. If in doubt- throw it out. Make sure you keep a record of any wastage as you may be covered by insurance. Check with your insurance company before you dispose of anything. They will tell you what sort of evidence they want from you.