The impact of COVID-19 on your water offer – what you need to know

The repercussions of Covid-19 have been far-reaching for all, especially for those in the hospitality industry, where measures meant that businesses have been closed and normal services put on hold. It’s safe to say these temporary closures have left many of us looking forward to visiting our favorite restaurants, pubs and cafés as we enter the ‘new normal’.

With the Government indicating that some areas of the hospitality industry could reopen in a matter of weeks, operators have a lot to consider before they can get back up and running. 

On top of the usual considerations of running a business economically and sustainably, the pandemic has thrown up a number of additional requirements for operators to navigate. Social distancing and infection control measures will need to be adhered to – in some cases, this will mean reconfiguring seating and tables, installing partition screens, or limiting the number of customers and employees in the venue at any one time. 

Every hospitality business offers water; ensuring it is served safely and sustainably will be a key consideration for operators before reopening. Here are our top need-to-knows when it comes to serving water post-lockdown:

Setting up for success:

In the lead up to reopening, operators will be carrying out essential maintenance on key equipment after being shut down. Remember to treat equipment as if it were new – call on your engineer for expert advice, use the manual to start-up the machine again, and for equipment that uses water, ensure any standing water is flushed out of the system. If you require any support on the correct maintenance for your Brita Vivreau water dispenser systems, please see our recommended hygiene guidelines for daily cleaning and for safe use after a prolonged absence. 

Focus on frequent touch points:

Operators should ensure all touchable surfaces, such as coffee machines, kitchen equipment and water dispensing taps are cleaned with antibacterial wipes and disinfectant spray regularly, depending on the frequency of use.

Hygienic hydration:

Water dispensers provide a clean and efficient way to serve customers high volumes of filtered, sparkling and still water on-demand. During service, the water dispenser nozzle should remain a ‘touch-free’ zone and the tap, drip tray and housing should be cleaned regularly for improved hygiene. 

An eye on the environment:

As part of the nation-wide effort to limit the spread of the virus, single-use items are coming to the fore as a convenient and effective way to reduce transmission. However, we know the hospitality industry has been working hard to reduce plastic waste in recent years and many businesses won’t want to resort back to single-use solutions. One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to swap the sale of water in plastic bottles for more sustainable alternatives, such as a filtered water dispenser. 

What’s more, to follow the new social distancing regulations effectively, hospitality operators should consider installing a number of dispenser points throughout the premises to avoid queues and gatherings. By offering multiple ‘hydration stations’, staff can refill water bottles easily whilst maintaining a safe distance from others. 

Keeping costs down:

With hospitality outlets being closed during lockdown, the reality is that many businesses have experienced financial challenges as a result. A key priority for many businesses will be operating as cost-effectively as possible by working with efficient suppliers and reducing waste. When it comes to the water provision, there are costly transportation, storage and recycling costs associated with single-use bottled water – offering mains-fed filtered water via dispensers can help to eliminate this and save money in the long term.

Serving water safely:

It is common to see hospitality outlets serving water to their customers in glass bottles as a sustainable alternative to plastic. To ensure optimum hygiene, ideally the bottle should be dishwasher safe so it can withstand cleaning at high temperatures (of up to 75°C). These bottles should be washed regularly and if they are not being used for a long period of time, they should be stored without the lid in a cool, dry place.

Overall, it’s vital that operators are able to serve water safely, sustainably and without stretching budgets during this period of financial strain. 

With the industry gearing up to reopen, businesses should consider the long-term solutions to serving water, which prioritise hygiene, while not taking backward steps in terms of the industry’s longstanding fight against single-use waste.

If you’re looking to reopen your hospitality business in the near future and require additional support in meeting the needs presented by COVID-19, please get in touch with our Dispenser Customer Service Team via 034567 496 555 or

Alternatively, keep an eye on our support pages for the latest advice, resources and insights on operating safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

By Mike Park, commercial director at Brita Vivreau

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