Cafes during Lockdown
As I write this London and is about to go into tier 3. That means that in the run up to Christmas cafe’s where owners and staff have worked hard to make their premises covid safe will have to close again unless that is, you can offer takeaway. The actual wording is ‘In London from are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.’
Many shops and cafe’s have adapted a counter at the door as a way to keep their staff and customers as safe as possible and it is something that is easy to do or get done. It’s a matter of fitting a drop down serving counter, think bar lift up counter.
If not done already, the way to get through it is to offer takeaway and the other allowed services. What we have to consider is that those calling for takeaway will be waiting outside and those ordering delivery will expect their food to arrive hot.
Therefore, further adaptions are required and here are some ideas for those in tier 3 areas:
- Reduce your takeaway menu to foods that can be prepared quickly or in advance. Ideas of cook in advance are:
- Cakes and deserts made in advance
- Homemade Pie of the Day
Quick cook are things like:
- Stir fries
- Think about what catering vans and trailers offer, quick cook or precooked foods that are quick and easy to serve to people waiting outside.
- For deliveries if it is something you are able to offer, then foods that retain their heat well are essential for customer satisfaction. Stews, Lasagne and Homemade Pies are things that hold their heat well. Transport the food in bags with enhanced heat provided by a hot stone or similar – think cold bag in reverse. Make sure the food is piping hot when it goes in the bag.
- In the winter months, mulled apple juice and hot chocolate are popular specialities to offer.
- It’s a good idea to get the word out that you are offering takeaway and other services to customers old and new. Get active on social media and include photos of your delicious food.
We are going through an unprecedented difficult time. Knowing that you are not alone is cold comfort when you are trying to balance the books. Accept any help you can, network with other cafe owners; they are in the best position to understand what you are going through. You can support each other.
Don’t forget to notify your insurance company to any changes to your business, such as offering takeaway when you didn’t before. Offering home delivery and don’t forget to ensure that any vehicles used for delivery are correctly insured.
For your cafe insurance advice and services the team at catering insurance are always happy to help.
As a business owner, you have built your business and are driven to succeed; you can do this by thinking outside of your usual comfort zone.
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