Cafes and restaurants are about to be hit hard
There is no doubt that cafes and restaurants are about to be hit hard. In fact, large restaurants are already impacted by the limited numbers. Catering of large events are now a thing of the past (for a while!).
And this will continue to trickle down to smaller restaurants and cafes. The limit on the size of public gatherings will drop again. People will be avoiding public places. Fear will set in.
And face it, restaurants and cafes are higher risk. They have a large number of strangers sharing a small space and consuming food. I’m working on a larger post on this.
So yesterday I was blown away (in a good way) when I ate at Crepe Escape in Windsor.
Crepe Escape being proactive
Most cafes will wipe a table down with a cloth between customers, but Crepe Escape went a couple steps further.
First, they are using a strong cleaner agent just as the customer is about to sit down. They are demonstrating to the customer that they are taking Coronavirus seriously. I think this is not only a great safety move, but it is a great PR move.
Cafes and restaurants need to not only be taking safety seriously, they need to be giving their customers the confidence to return.
And this is what blew me away
Crepe Escape didn’t just have a bottle of hand sanitiser on the bench for people to use. They actually brought it to the table and had us use it as soon as we sat down.
From an infection control perspective, this is awesome. If we had picked up the virus on our hands as we were out and about, then the risk is that we will transfer it to the table, menu, napkin dispenser etc. From there it would sit and then transfer to the next customer.
By having us sanitise our hands as we were sitting down, they have significantly reduced this risk. That’s impressive.
Is it perfect?
Of course not.
If the customer has Coronavirus, then they are mobile Coronavirus factories. By the time they leave the table, it is going to be a covering the table and the items on the table.
But then they clean the table so that’s great. That’s the majority of the risk gone. There are some stray items and I will talk about them in my next post.
Overall, just by doing these simple acts, they have eliminated a huge amount of the risk.
Could they do more?
We actually had a quick chat about what else could be done.
Reducing the table count will probably be inevitable. Removing every second table will ensure they have a reasonable gap between customers. Some places may be able to turn that to their advantage. If seating is limited then make sure it is prebooked.
Expect a push towards credit card payments only. It also means that payments can be made at the table without having to go to a common area.
Preorders, takeaway, and home delivery are also options to minimise the time people spend within the facility.
The future of cafes and restaurants
There is no doubt that the next 6 months will be the toughest that the hospitality industry has ever faced. We will see a large number of cafes and restaurants close and many of them won’t reopen. It is a bleak future.
Which means that cafes and restaurants need to be acting now to maximise their chances of surviving. They need to be getting radical and creative in how they are going to deal with both Coronavirus and the panic around it.
I hope people will see what Crepe Escape is doing and reward them for it.
Oh, and the food and service were exceptional as well.