COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update
12th May 2020 Grace King

To all our Barbers and Friends,

We hope you are all surviving lock down as well as can be expected, it certainly is tough times for everyone.

We just wanted to take a moment to update you on the situation at MR. Barbers.

July 4th at the earliest

Following the governments guidelines announced this week, the earliest we will be able to re-open is going to be July 4th as part of the Phase 3 release. This date will be prone to slippage though if the infection rate goes back up.

We are totally behind the governments decisions and will be keeping our door closed until they say we can do differently. This is to protect you guys, who have been heroic in staying at home and following the governments guidelines over the last 2 months, and to protect our clients from unnecessary risk.

We are ready

We are however ready to open our doors safely to our customers again once we are told we can do so.

We have:

  • Fully sanitised all of our shops.
  • Bought the necessary PPE
  • Developed a ‘Post COVID-19 Re-Opening Policy’ to ensure everyone is following hygienic working practices that will keep everyone safe. Please take a moment to familiarise yourselves with the policy.
  • Initiated a move to a 100% appointment base system to ensure social distances measures can be maintained and there is enough time between cuts to follow the appropriate sanitisation procedures

Everything is in place, everything is ready, and we can’t wait to get you guys back to cutting hair, to get back to seeing your clients, get back to seeing your friends, but we will NOT be doing that until the Government tells us it is safe to do so.

Be Patient

I have no doubt there will be barbershops that reopen this month and barbers that will be offering home haircuts. This goes against everything the government is trying to do to help us all get through this pandemic and it goes against everything we believe in at MR. Barbers. The safety of our barbers and our clients comes first.

We know it is hard to not be cutting, to not be earning a living, but we urge you please to hold on that bit longer. We will be open in the not too distant future and then you can get back to your shops and get back to cutting hair in a safe, virus free, way.

Morale

It is important right now to try and stay positive. We know it has been a long time already in lock down and the prospect of these extra weeks tough. They will go quickly though, and you will soon be back cutting in very busy shops.

Where possible, try and stay in touch with your fellow barbers, they might be having a tough time, struggling to get through this, and a text / phone call / video call might just be the thing that turns their day around. Remember, we are all in this together, we are all stuck dealing with the same issues, the same stresses. It is at times like this when the community we have at MR. can help each other get through this and come out stronger.

Bookings

When we do re-open, we will need to go onto 100% bookings for the early stages at least. This protects you, our barbers and our customers, it allows us to implement the proper sanitisation procedures to keep everyone safe.

We will be putting out some posts on social media but want to keep our real marketing campaign for the booking system until we know a definite opening date. The campaign involves

  • Push on social media to get people to download the app in readiness to book
  • Instructions on how to use the booking system
  • 3 days before we open the booking system we will email and text everybody who has ever signed up to the system and to our web database to let them know that at a certain time on a certain day we will be opening the system
  • We will then do a countdown to try and get everyone aware and make a bit if noise about our reopening
  • On the day of reopening we will again email and text everyone on our databases

This is going to need you guys to work with your shops to decide what your new opening hours will be, how long appointments need to be to provide the necessary cleaning between customers and what shifts everyone will be doing.

We do recommend in the first few weeks of reopening, you look to open the doors for longer hours, 7 days a week, to ensure all our customers get the opportunity to get their hair cut, and that you the opportunity to make really good money. Please over the next few weeks, take this opportunity to discuss your hours with your fellow barbers and shop owners.

We will be doing a Zoom teach in sessions next week for everyone on how to use the booking system. This will give you the basics to be able to set up all the necessary rotas / appointment times / shop hours etc. Being set up correctly for opening day will be critical in getting the shops full and you guys fully booked when we reopen. If any of you have any questions on this feel free to contact us separately.

Shop Posters

We will be sending A1 posters for each shop to use to advertise our approach to a safe experience and the need to download the MR App to book in. People are out in the towns and it is important that we let our customers know that we will be appointment based upon reopening and that they can’t just expect to turn up and wait in a queue like they would have done historically. If you can let your customers know this too through your own social media platforms, that would be great.

Opportunity

Much as this situation is a long way from what we wanted to happen this year; it does give us an opportunity to further differentiate ourselves from the rest of the barbershops in our towns.

  • By showing we care about our barbers and our customers, by providing the right level of safety when we reopen, we will take customers from the lesser shops who are worried about the virus and want to have a clean, sterile, risk free haircut
  • There will be a general shift from people working in London. Many people who used to work in London and get their hair cut there, will now be working remotely permanently and they will all be looking for a local barbershop to replace their London experience, we have a campaign set up ready to target these individuals as we get nearer to reopening

Together we are stronger

These are unprecedented times and it is extremely difficult for us all. By pulling together, sharing experiences, ideas, information we will be able to come out of this stronger than we were before, stronger than the independent stand-alone barbershops. The next 8 weeks are going to be tough, but we have a plan, we all have things we need to be doing customers and with our shops. By working together, we will all come out of this stronger with a better business, a broader more robust client base and solid platform for the future.

Stay Safe

The hard work has been done now, the country will gradually open up again over the coming weeks and months. You have all done amazingly well. You are a credit to your industry and to the MR. Barbers name. All our lives can start to move back to some form of normality. Continue to stay safe, look after your loved ones and we look forward to getting you all back cutting in our shops in July.

Kind Regards,

The  MR. Barbers Team