Food Wine Produce
28/03/2020
It’s business as usual, but not quite

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In the current climate surrounding COVID-19, eateries everywhere are adapting to the pandemic by adopting measures designed to keep them open while protecting the health of their staff and customers. There has been a rush of announcements on social media and in premises by restaurants and cafes all over regarding important health information in light of the continuing spread of the disease. The consensus is that everyone is closely monitoring the situation to ensure appropriate measures are taken. Businesses are totally focused on the health and safety of their customers, staff and suppliers. 

So what’s happening now? Business models have been adapted, with customers encouraged to order online, call through their order or make an order of ready-made meals to store in their freezer. This means that social distancing is practised because you can eat-in at home. Other incentives include avoiding cash payments, using contactless payments, and sanitising EFTPOS machines between purchases. 

Many have also announced that shared amenities will receive particular attention, with communal items such as sauce bottles, water bottles, napkin dispensers and cutlery stations receiving wipe-downs more regularly. Staff are being extra vigilant by practising good hygiene, with eateries sharing that they’re providing plenty of hand sanitiser for customers to use at their venues. Many social media posts have politely asked any customers who have travelled overseas in the past two weeks, or have come into contact with people suspected of having COVID-19, to not set foot in their premises. Customers who are feeling unwell are advised to reschedule their visits. 

All hygiene practices are being amped up. Staff are constantly working to ensure that all shared spaces are regularly cleaned and sanitised, including furniture, benches, door handles, and washrooms. On some occasions, businesses have created special takeaway menus with meals that can be eaten later. Contactless home deliveries are being made available where requested. Eateries are taking the time to remind patrons that they are enforcing safe takeaway practices and taking extra precautions. 

In preparation for the disruption, many eateries have begun focusing on their shopfronts, user-friendly websites, and either removing their tables, limiting group bookings or designating a table to be left empty between each dining party. 

As we enter this unprecedented phase of living, many businesses are making it known that they’re remaining open, making hygiene changes, and informing their customers of the actions being taken to keeping their staff and patrons safe and healthy.

While following the advice of our health departments is paramount, it’s also important that we all band together to continue to support our small businesses wherever possible. By doing so, we are supporting their staff, their suppliers and their families. 

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