A survey conducted by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand has indicated that approximately a third of all restaurants, cafes and takeaway businesses are considering reopening at alert level 3, translating to approximately five thousand businesses across the country.

The survey followed the announcement from the government that the level 3 alert system will allow the reopening of hospitality establishments through restricted takeaway and pick up services.

“Whilst this is a positive step for our industry, we are still acutely aware of the fact that this will not work for all businesses,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“This is good news for those that offered a takeaway or delivery service before lock down and that have a road side frontage able to manage pick ups. The fact that so many are considering reopening and adapting their business models to accommodate the new rules is testament to the innovative and resilient nature of those that work in hospitality.”

Bidois went on to explain that the association has a number of members that won’t be able to offer this service, for example those within malls that remain closed at level 3.

The results of the survey indicated that approximately forty per cent of the association’s membership will remain closed at level 3 with another 30 per cent currently working through the logistics and economics of reopening.

“Whilst we see this as a positive step, the industry still needs urgent financial relief to enable our business owners to avoid the devastating personal and professional losses that will inevitably occur if more assistance is not offered.”

Bidois presented the Contactless Delivery Programme to the Epidemic Response Committee, government ministers, MBIE and MPI and once the details have been finalised it will be made available to the whole industry.

The programme includes guidelines for how production, delivery, drive through and pick-ups will work.

Contactless delivery plan key points:

• Online or phone contactless ordering

• Restricted menus and minimal staff in kitchens to prepare orders

• Description of safe spot for leaving package

• Delivery drivers to be wearing gloves and face masks

• Delivery driver to knock on door and send text when food has arrived and ensure that the food is taken inside the property but watch from a 2 metre distance

“Hospitality businesses are used to working to strict food control plans and we do not anticipate that the additional guidelines will cause our members any issues, many of whom are anxious to get back into the establishments. The easing of restrictions on our sector will also allow them to play a valuable role in feeding their communities which we know will be welcome to so many Kiwis who need this service,” concluded Bidois.

The Restaurant Association has put together a helpful list of contactless services here.

For more news and information from the foodservice industry click here.