Restaurant Resilience how Cape Town and Western Cape restaurants adapted to COVID-19

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Category: Best Practice - Continuity

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Published: March 27, 2020

#restuarantresilience restaurants change the menu for COVID-19

Many restaurants in Cape Town and the Western Cape were hit hard by COVID-19 in South Africa as the hospitality industry faced strict new regulations forcing them to adapt quickly to a rapidly-changing environment.

Changes in regulations included:

No sale of liquor during the following hours:

               18:00 – 09:00 on weekdays and Saturdays

               9:00 to 13:00 on Sundays and all public holidays

All on-consumption premises selling liquor, including taverns, restaurants and clubs would be allowed to continue, but ONLY if the following conditions were complied with:

               All liquor, opened, closed, finished or unfinished MUST be off the tables, and can’t be consumed, during the no-sale hours;

               No more than 50 people may be accommodated on the premises at the same time, including staff;

               Adequate space must be available for social distancing which means 1 square meter per person; and

               All directions in respect of hygienic conditions and limitation of exposure to persons with COVID-19 must be adhered to.

These regulations were tough but necessary, and restaurants around the country had to quickly adapt to new models of business to survive during this unprecedented climate.

Here are some examples of how local restaurants in the Western Cape showed resilience and adapted quickly:

Doppio Zero keeps you moving

“Social Distancing” became the buzzword of the day, but it was crucial in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Social distancing meant staying home, avoiding crowds and refraining from touching one another. Social distancing could make day to day living inconvenient for some and even frightening to others.  

Doppio Zero took note that many customers were wondering if they could go to restaurants or order take-aways. This concern had an immediate impact on their stores.  As there was no evidence that the virus could live in food, they converted their sit down restaurants into drive-by restaurants. This ensured the stores and staff continued to have customers.

Bags of artisanal goodness from Janse and Co.

Restaurants were facing strict regulations during COVID-19 and while many stayed open, they were limited by the number of guests allowed through the doors. Fine dining establishment Janse and Co. closed the restaurant to the public as a precaution, but instead of shutting up shop entirely, they adapted their offering to creating Artisanal Food Bags to be enjoyed at home. The bags could be delivered to your doorstep or collected from the restaurant every day of the week.

Bertus goes online

An extension of Eike, Bertus se Huiskos offers the same delicious traditional South African meals with a quirky, contemporary touch, but during this time they shifted the offering as ready-made meal options for collection or delivery

Mill Coffee House

The Mill Coffee House went mobile in partnership with Carinus Lemmer, who offers pick-up/drop-off service via bicycles, riding to the rescue. Mill Coffee house offered bicycle deliveries to your home. You would place your order via WhatsApp on 082 923 074.

Moro Gelato

Hygiene became much more of a focus for restaurants and customers as COVID-19 took hold. Moro Gelato instituted a roll-out of hygiene-related moves: all purchases were now cashless to limit hand-to-hand exchanges, spoons and serviettes were removed from counters, and nothing got washed and re-used. Not only does this look after their customers, but staff as well.

The Creamery

Much like Moro Gelato, The Creamery also placed an emphasis on hygiene, by going cashless, introducing hand sanitisers at point of sales and doing away with communally accessible water jugs and other utensils.

Villa 47

Another fine-dining establishment to offer a call & collect service, Villa47 offered limited seating and spread its tables further apart to ensure social distancing is adhered to inside the restaurant and offered a delivery service.

How did your restaurant adapting to the new regulations? Send us your story to supportbusiness@wesgro.co.za 

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