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Thread: How to sell water and pop from a cooler during COVID-19?

  1. #1
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    How to sell water and pop from a cooler during COVID-19?

    How would you sell water and pop from a cooler during COVID-19? I expect the event I sell pop and water at will resume in July.

    My thoughts are to wash all the cans and bottles with soap and hot water before loading into cooler. In the past customers have been allowed to select their own drink, but I plan to stop that. I will wear gloves and hand customers their drink. I have a hand washing station and will wash my gloved hands often.

    Another option is just to not sell the pop and water this summer, but people have come to depend on having pop and water for sale.
    Last edited by Brian Elfert; 05-14-2020 at 6:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Are you going to be taking money, and giving change? That's a hole in your plan. You don't know where that money has been. Maybe you have one person, wearing gloves, who handles the money. And you have a second person pulling the drinks from the cooler, and putting it on a table for the buyer to pick up. And of course both people are wearing masks.

  3. #3
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    There would either be a separate cashier and server, or the server would wash hands with soap and water after every transaction. Currently, I have a cashier helping during the middle of the day and I handle things myself in the afternoon until about 3 pm or so when sales end. I didn't mention I also plan to have a sneeze guard with a hole to pass goods and money through. It will be a much bigger sneeze guard than a lot of stores have today.

    I also didn't mention that I sell other food too. I have figured out how to safely sell that stuff, but the pop and water is more difficult due to all the handling to buy it, load it in a cooler, and cover it in ice.
    Last edited by Brian Elfert; 05-14-2020 at 7:23 PM.

  4. #4
    First, look at how long CV 19 lasts on surfaces. That would be the key, because if it dead, you don't need to do anything out of the ordinary. Wear glove when loading coolers. You could buy disposable gloves and let each customer put one on and then select their drink themselves. Maybe use a pair of tongs to pick out beverages, then there would be no hand washing necessary. Remember, when you buy a drink from a vending machine, it's not sanitized either

  5. #5
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    Buy your drinks three days ahead and do not breathe on them. Do not touch coolers for three days either. Not sure how to verify the ice is sanitary? One person handles money another touches the food items.
    If possible, after the show, leave the cash untouched for 24 hours, 72 hours for the change.
    All these times are room temperature. I have no idea of the shelf life of corona virus in a refrigerator but it is over two years in a freezer.
    Bill D.
    Some would fill spray bottles with water and label it sanitizer to make customers feel good.

    https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/coronavi...zer-u21gz2n7br
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 05-14-2020 at 10:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Drinks:
    Take plenty of white towels, and something to hang them on. In the cooler, make sure there's plenty of water with the ice to submerge the drinks. Add 1/4 cup of bleach per estimated gallon of ice water. YOU pull the drinks and wipe the wet off them with the towels, set the drinks on the table or counter for THEM to pick up. Touchless and sanitary, and the bleach smell will be appreciated, and won't hurt a thing. Hang up wet towels, they should dry quick while using the dry ones. Your gloves will be cleaning themselves as you pull the beverages.

    Money: The easy way is, if you can find any, just Lysol any money that changes hands. We get cash sales every day, that's what we do

    OR, take some sort of drop box for customers to put money into. Bring as much change cash as you can. If you need cash out of the box, take one of the wet bleachy towels, lay it on a table, retrieve the cash you need and lay it out flat on half the towel, then fold the other half over it, and rub it all around. Any incoming or outgoing cash can be 'toweled' easy enough on a table...
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 05-14-2020 at 10:20 PM.
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  7. #7
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    One can only hope the bagged ice manufacturers are taking every effort to keep ice free of COVID-19. I only use bagged ice mostly because I can't make and store 40 pounds of ice and also because it doesn't stick together.

    I'm not sure customers would appreciate drinks that taste like bleach. It might be hard to get all the bleach water off the tops of cans.

  8. #8
    I will not buy from a cooler in the near and probable the distant future. Sorry but I hope you have some different form of income in the future. I suspect the world has changed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Goodrich View Post
    I will not buy from a cooler in the near and probable the distant future. Sorry but I hope you have some different form of income in the future. I suspect the world has changed.
    This is more of a public service and is not really a source of income for me. I have a full time job that pays very well.

    I doubt everyone will be as worried about it as you are. Wisconsin bars just opened back up and I have seen a picture of a bar pretty full with nobody socially distancing. It looked like a picture of a bar before COVID-19 except one person had a mask on.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    This is more of a public service and is not really a source of income for me. I have a full time job that pays very well.

    I doubt everyone will be as worried about it as you are. Wisconsin bars just opened back up and I have seen a picture of a bar pretty full with nobody socially distancing. It looked like a picture of a bar before COVID-19 except one person had a mask on.
    My expectation is by July, Minnesota will either be doing well and humming along or it will be a major center of a covid-19 outbreak.

    It is my intention to stay away from such events until there is a reasonable control of this pandemic.

    My family's health is worth more than a cooler full of soda pop.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My expectation is by July, Minnesota will either be doing well and humming along or it will be a major center of a covid-19 outbreak.

    It is my intention to stay away from such events until there is a reasonable control of this pandemic.
    The event I am talking about has 100 to 150 people spread out over a number of acres. There is rarely anyone not in the same household within even 10 feet of each other. The national organization that governs these events thinks that it is very easy to social distance. The national organization put about a six week moratorium on events and now states that events may start once local rules permit.

    The board of directors for our local events is certainly not going to restart things until it is safe to do so. I expect no earlier than July. There is no rush to start for financial reasons as the events don't make money. The folks who attend are anxious for things to start since the last event was in October.

  12. #12
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    How about putting each bottle/can in a plastic bag (wearing gloves), then into the ice. You hand each person a bag (wearing gloves), and let them get it out. Wastes a lot of plastic bags, I know.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    How about putting each bottle/can in a plastic bag (wearing gloves), then into the ice. You hand each person a bag (wearing gloves), and let them get it out. Wastes a lot of plastic bags, I know.
    That is certainly something to think about. I can get bags for less than four cents each. It would still require someone with clean hands to hand out the items.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    That is certainly something to think about. I can get bags for less than four cents each. It would still require someone with clean hands to hand out the items.
    Tongs? Or just someone trustworthy with gloves. Or you open the bag, customer pulls out the untouched by human hands bottle.

  15. #15
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    I might suggest consulting your local health department instead of a woodworking forum. That said, how about having the beverage containers in an ice water bath that has a couple shots of bleach in it? It doesn't take much to sanitize everything and it leaves a comforting "I'm clean" aroma.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

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