Here at Restaurant & Café Magazine, we want to provide foodservice businesses with practical tips and information for these tough times ahead. From keeping your customers and staff safe to ideas for future-proofing your brand.

Today’s tips cover safety and steps to take to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Social Distancing

The New Zealand government announced that individuals should practise social distancing to curb the spread of the virus. Experts suggested staying one and a half metres away from other people.

Nick Honeyman, owner and executive chef of Paris Butter, took the initiative to space out tables in the restaurant and to limit bookings. Paris Butter has taken out half of the tables, separating the tables left to as to give people more space, and are running on a skeleton booking system.

Honeyman advised other restaurants to stay strong and stay together. “We don’t have another option but to stay positive. I think we are already innovative in New Zealand hospitality because we have been in a hard market for a few years already. The crisis is just another hurdle that we will have to get through.”

Embrace To-Go Options

Paris Butter has also launched a to-go option with a daily heat and eat menu that has a main and dessert which can then be collected during the day. “On the menu will be meals we love to eat at home and some of our original Paris Butter classics,” noted Honeyman.

Alter Café in Mount Eden has decided to prepare more cabinet food to offer more options for people to takeaway and have put signage outside the café, promoting grab and go coffee food.

National retail sales and leasing director for Bayleys Real Estate, Chris Beasleigh, has advised that foodservice operators need to adapt to takeaway and delivery options or risk the real possibility of going out of business.

“People will still want to retain some degree of normality to their lives, and while they may choose not to eat out in the coming weeks, they will still want to enjoy their favourite restaurant or café food. It’s just that now, the meal will be taken home,” commented Beasleigh.

Retrain in Health & Safety

Alter Café has retrained staff in food safety. It has also required staff to keep better personal hygiene by making handwashing mandatory after touching surfaces, tidying tables and picking up dishes.

Wendy’s New Zealand has retrained all staff on food safety and handwashing and has implemented more stringent cleaning of high touch areas such as door handles, pin pads, chairs and tables. The company has also identified staff that are currently overseas or returning from overseas so it can ensure staff adhere to all self-isolation rules.

Making establishments a safer place to be, embracing takeaway items, and reassuring customers of your businesses practises and policies can all contribute to customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is vital to implement these ideas now to help your business weather the storm.

Stay tuned for more tips, including menu ideas, delivery options, and advice from around the globe.