Cafes, COVID-19 & June 1: A Guide to Reopening for Cafe Owners

In exciting news for hospitality, the Victorian government has announced it will allow restaurants and cafés to reopen from June 1. 

The June 1 reopening that will allow cafés  to move from takeaway only businesses back to limited eat and drink in establishments once more is subject to social distancing restrictions, namely:

  • 1 person per 4 square metres
  • A maximum of 20 patrons in an indoor space
  • Table service only
  • Venues must take each patron’s contact details to allow for contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID-19 case

For café owners, the restrictions remind us that while things are slowly returning to normal, it will be a “new normal” requiring a range of adjustments to entice customers back.

To help you manage this new normal, on top of the government guidelines, here are our main suggestions as to what you’ll need to do to run your café during the first easing of restrictions and beyond.

Turn Your Staff Into All-Rounders

For now, at least, gone are the days of having a barista who only makes coffee and your staff will need training to prepare for a broader multi-tasking role. This means they’ll wait tables, prepare coffees and more generally handle customer service.

This might seem like you’re asking a lot of your staff, but with restrictions on numbers, rest assured their workload will remain the same, and new more multifaceted roles will ensure your café runs efficiently and effectively, making it easier to manage new requirements.

Social Distancing Restrictions

Social distancing will be a requirement of any café and might remain so for some time, so how well you set up yours for social distancing is crucial.

We’ve identified three steps to getting yourself “socially distanced sorted” pre-June 1:

  1. Map out your tables and chairs in a way that plans ahead of time how you’re going to set up your premises to maintain its unique look and ambience.
  2. Make sure you have sleek, on-brand signage and social distancing guidelines. Printing a note was an OK solution when social restrictions were first announced, but since they’re here to stay, your communications should be more permanent and schmick.
  3. Stock up again as your patronage increases.

Coffee Max offers a service to cafe owners to help with their coffee choice and strategy. Contact us if you would like help getting a plan together for the next few months and beyond.

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