How Holding Cages Are Proving Vital During the Pandemic
The right set up can be invaluable in enabling clients to get their pets in and out of the salon without coming into close contact with staff and other clients.
In the age of social distancing, drop offs and pickups have emerged as an important, evolving area of every grooming business.Pet owners must be provided with a safe and efficient way to get their four-legged friends in and out of the salon without coming into close contact with staff and other clients.
With this in mind, many groomers have been a using mobile cage banks or holding kennels to allow for easy lobby transfers. However, not all holding cages are created equal. There are several factors that groomers must consider when building or redesigning this part of their business.
Shor-Line has worked with many facilities, and the most common set up we have observed is a bank of cages in the lobby area with numbers or designations (stainless steel card holders work great!). When customers drop off their pets, they open the cleaned cage to deposit the pet safely. After the customer leaves, staff cleans the latch and removes the pet for service and then cleans the cage. This process is then repeated in reverse for pickup.
Given the focus on cleanliness in the transfer process, it’s no surprise that cage banks and mobile transport cages made with stainless steel are often the preferred choice, as they are easy to disinfect. In addition, cages that feature rounded corners help make the cleaning process easier by avoiding debris buildup.
More Space Needed
The fact that many clients have become more open scheduled drop off and pickup times enables groomers to have more concentrated work windows. However, this has also created a need for more holding space that is comfortable for the pet.
Shor-Line has two options for holding cages—the traditional stainless steel cages and the dryer cage with two holding cages. This allows pets to rotate into the drying area. By stacking the holding cages and dryer, you provide more housing with the same footprint.
Almost every busy grooming business that we work with has told us that COVID is stressing employees because of the necessary but time-consuming additional duties. With this in mind, it is important that business owners make any new procedures as simple as possible, without sacrificing effectiveness. For example, Cage Valets that keep a customer’s items together (and separate from others) make tasks like implementing cleaning protocols easier.
Flexibility is Vital
The flexibility to accommodate a wide range of pets with unique needs is key to building an efficient transfer process. If a business is investing in cages for larger pets, consider Double Door cages that come with a removeable center area, which allows you to add a cage divider. This way, a 48-inch wide cage can become two 24-inch wide cages without compromising security.
Planning for the Future
It may sound a little crazy to invest in equipment when your business has been slow or even shuttered for several months. However, good, clean protocols that are visible go a long way toward building trust with your client base.
Stainless steel cages have a history of maintaining their value and last for decades. If you feel comfortable with your finances, the ongoing pandemic—and the social distancing practices that have come with it—provide the perfect reason to invest in the growth of your business during these unique times.