A Touchy Subject: Should All Hospitality Enforce Face Masks on Their Staff Teams and Customers?

It is hard to believe that it’s already June, as 2020 crawled in slow-motion it seems that 2021 is flying by with the speed sound. We still lack clarity as to where the summer and remainder of the year will lead our hearts and minds are filled with concern over how our lives will take shape.

The past few years the world have made us all adapt to a new way of living and all industries have had to made substantial changes to their processes, this is particularly true in hospitality venues as bars, restaurants and hotels not only struggle to remain open, but face a wall of adversity in adapting their venues to become COVID friendly, while balancing the potential backlash from both supporters and adversaries of such measures. Where is the middle ground?

Minimising the risk of exposure to the virus and reducing the risk to both staff and customers, regardless of personal perspectives, is ultimately at the forefront of most people’s minds. For the greater good or more selfish reasons, it is crucial that our hospitality industry returns to some semblance of the norm and for most owners of these businesses, it is now an open or die situation. To ensure that no outbreak is tracked back to their premises, simple measures will be of utmost importance for every hospitality venue’s reputation and business interests.

Matrix have been involved in the research, manufacture, sourcing, and supply of an enormous variety of face masks and covering since 2019, across FFP2, FFP3, Fabric, Single Use, HEIQ and Viroblock technologies and have supplied Medical, Hospitality, Transport and Entertainment venues. There is no set obligations as to the specific type of product or masks required in any venue and no product specific guidance has been provided to the hospitality industry. Should Medical Grade Masks be enforced, would that simply be too uncomfortable in a warm hospitality environment, should Viroblock technologies be enforced, or should it be up to the owners to decide?

Benefits of Reusable Masks

Adding your Brand: Against all odds, we have many clients who have adopted the face mask into their uniform look with great success, branding these products and creating a cool and funky addition to their uniform range. These may not be ideal to wear on a daily basis, but as long as they are required, have some fun with the colour and branding options to make something really cool.

Safe & Comfortable: Our best-selling reusable mask the PR796 Premier Face Mask have the option to add a filter into the inside of the mask to give an additional layer of protection. Our HEIQ Viroblock Face Masks use an innovative, patent-applied Swiss textile technology which sanitises in a non-toxic and safe to skin application. These products also products a fantastic level of comfort in your face mask without sacrificing safety.

Cost effective: Disposable masks are more expensive in the long run –If you use washable face masks even though they cost more initially, they will end up saving you money in the long run.

Eco-friendly: Disposable masks for the most part is not recyclable or biodegradable, therefore the majority of them will end up in landfill, think green and reusable is our suggestion.

Negatives of Masks

With anything during a period of change, there are always some negatives, although in my opinion with the face masks they are relatively few in number. I can hear my local barman’s words echoing in my ears “well you don’t have to wear one all day every day” – he is right and in preparation for this article I wore a face mask full time and even in a comfortable office chair not a hot bar – it did grate on me at times. However, the PR796 Face Mask with the adjustable ear cords really did allow me to find a comfortable fit which made a huge difference. With that, I found that, rather quickly, I forgot about it.

The other negative I suppose is just an additional expense for an industry which has had such a terrible time of it, unlike most we are not profiteering and our 10 Mask Pack Bundle is only £29.95.

That aside, I look forward to hearing any feedback in the comments.

Final Thoughts

As we note, this is a clearly a touchy subject and with every post we make about masks, we receive a variety of responses – to put it politely. However, we would be extremely interested to hear your thoughts on the subject and should you have any product enquires, please call our product advice team on 0141 810 9777 or pop into our Paisley Uniform Showroom to discuss.

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