In Texas, the Hispanic supermarket chain El Rancho, which operates 25 stores in Dallas, Houston, and Odessa and has about 3,500 employees, is implementing strict sanitation measures to keep its employees and customers safe and prevent risks of contagion with the coronavirus.
Likewise, the store chain has managed to keep the shelves of its locations supplied from the beginning of the crisis because since January they began to take measures to face the emergency.
According to Guillermo Washington, Vice President of Operations for El Rancho, “from the beginning of January we knew that this pandemic was going to come to the United States and we began to prepare ourselves with suppliers to obtain and assure product.”
Just as they prepared in advance to have enough food supplies, the supermarket chain took care to stock up on time with hygiene and sanitary equipment for its workers.
Washington said El Rancho acquired nearly 200,000 mouthguards and thousands of face shields and gloves that have been distributed to its 3,500 employees since the first days of March, long before the use of face masks was recommended to protect against the coronavirus.
“Our priority is to protect our collaborators, give them and our clients the necessary security to avoid infections,” said the VP of Operations.
Acrylic barriers were installed in the cash register areas of El Rancho supermarkets and they have a team dedicated exclusively to sanitizing all facilities and shopping carts. All stores are equipped with sprayer machines that quickly sanitize large surfaces, and are used for sanitizing customer entrances, as well as in the merchandise receiving area, hallways, perishable departments, and walls.
To ensure the good health of their associates, every day before starting their work, all employees and suppliers must go through temperature control. According to the company, anyone who registers an elevated temperature will be sent to the doctor and can only return to work when they present a medical letter indicating their good health. In the case of suppliers, they cannot return until they have a normal temperature.
El Rancho joined other chain stores that are implementing strict social distancing measures for their customers. Through the speakers, shoppers are continually reminded to keep the minimum distance of six feet, and they also have signage that reminds them to keep the recommended distance.
In addition, all stores are limiting the number of customers who can enter to buy groceries, and additional signs have been placed that direct the flow of traffic through each aisle, in one direction. A team walks throughout the store reminding customers of social distancing recommendations.
“It gives us a lot of peace of mind knowing that we keep our clients and staff safe,” said Washington.