A Sun Prairie restaurant is at the forefront of COVID-19 re-opening tactics by using ultraviolet (UV) light treatment to protect customers from the virus.

Buck & Honey’s Sun Prairie and Monona dining rooms reopened on Wednesday, May 27 after being shut off to customers for more than two months under Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order.

Owner Tom Anderson decided to use UV treatment to boost the confidence of employees and customers to come back to Buck & Honey’s.

“We have worked very hard to make our restaurants the safest environment for our staff and guests and we just want to get back to work,” Anderson said.

A day before the May 27 reopen, Green Up Solutions brought out its Shock & Shield system.

UV light machines were set up in the restaurants to disinfect surfaces, then antimicrobial protection was applied to surfaces and textiles.

Green Up Solutions owner Andy Weins said the UV treatment kills 99.999 percent of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi and prevents the spread of microbes.

Weins said hundreds of hospitals across the United States use UV light to disinfect facilities.

“We’ve taken the technology that has only been used in healthcare and senior living facility and are bringing it to commercial businesses,” Weins said, noting that the method is safe for the environment and doesn’t cause health concerns.

The anti-microbial solution, which is applied after the UV light treatment, has a technique of the laundry industry for more than 40 years, Weins said.

COVID-19 has created a demand for technology that can combat the virus.

Governments in China and Korea have used UV treatment during the pandemic to sterilize money before putting it back into circulation.

The Dane County Jail started UV light treatment of facilities this spring to protect inmates and jail staff from the COVID-19 virus.

Anderson said the ultraviolet light and antimicrobial treatments are just part of what he is doing to bring back customers to the restaurant’s dining rooms. Tables are spaced at least six feet apart and groups are limited.

Menus are now disposable, or customers can view menus on their cell phones. Employees have gone through COVID-19 safety training and are required to wear masks, gloves, and have their temperatures taken.

Buck & Honey’s restaurants offered only curbside pick-up before the May 27 dining reopen.

Anderson said the fallout from the COVID-19 economic impact has been the biggest challenge since he opened up the first Buck & Honey’s restaurant in Sun Prairie in 2010 but his employees have rallied behind him.

“This probably has been the biggest challenge in the 10 years that we have had to deal with but we have this team of people who have stepped up that we are so thankful for—every day they came in and found new projects and new ways to get us ready to open.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, Anderson said he will respond.

“The trust needs to be there and we are communicating with our customers on what we are doing, and long-term we will continue to follow any updates from the CDC and public health,’ he said, “because there is new information every day.”

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