Help guests feel safe: tips for cleaning POS equipment

by: Heartland
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Restaurateurs, guests may be able to safely eat away from home after months of staying in, but they’ll need to feel safe to make it a regular practice. While your restaurants operate according to state and local COVID-19 guidelines, everyone plays a role in maintaining public safety - including you, your employees and your guests. While social distancing is one task assigned to us all, regularly cleaning and disinfecting point-of-sale (POS) equipment and using handheld POS devices are some of the most effective, and prominent, contributions you can make.

 Create a safe environment for guests and employees.

It’s not enough for your restaurant to be clean- disinfect in front of your guests throughout the day so they can relax with friends and family, knowing they’ve made the right decision to enjoy a meal at your establishment. Similarly, leave pump bottles or contactless dispensers of hand sanitizer at every stationary POS station. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using hand sanitizer containing 60-95% alcohol for effective germ-killing power after touching surfaces and between handwashing trips.

 Use handheld POS devices to elevate safety measures.

Uphold COVID-19 safety standards with handheld POS devices. They allow you to eliminate queues while maintaining safe distances between parties of guests and employees. Handheld POS devices also allow you to complete transactions tableside or in socially-distant locations.

Guests are overwhelmingly using credit and debit cards in lieu of cash to improve hygiene and reduce contact. The National Restaurant Association recommends the use of contactless payments during the pandemic.

 Clean and disinfect POS equipment with care.

Power down and unplug POS devices prior to cleaning or disinfecting. If you’re only cleaning the touchpads or touchscreens, you may be able to keep your device on; read your user’s manual for confirmation. Next, wash your hands or clean them thoroughly with hand sanitizer, waiting for them to dry completely before touching the equipment.

Never use soap or other cleaners on POS equipment. However, do use a microfiber cloth or soft towel with water. Make the cloth slightly damp and carefully clean all surfaces, taking care not to shake or drop the device which could trigger your tampering sensors.

While cleaning removes visible marks, disinfecting kills germs. Put a small amount of alcohol-based cleaner (min. 60% alcohol) onto a microfiber cloth or soft towel or use alcohol-based wipes. Never apply liquids directly to your equipment. Never squeeze a cloth or wipe on or over your POS devices- it could cause liquid damage. Some cleaners have the power to destroy plastic and rubber components; avoid accidental contact- never use ketone-based solvents, bleach, thinner or trichloroethylene. Reference your user’s manual for a list of approved cleaners for your POS devices.

Clean and disinfect your equipment throughout the day- POS equipment - stationary or handheld - are among the most prominent high-touch surfaces in your restaurant. Aim for visible cleanliness to put guests at ease, as well as thoroughly-disinfected surfaces to stop the virus’ spread.