Reopening your café during Covid – Part 3
As coffee shops in the UK are reopening since 4th of July, Callum Parsons, an award-winning coffee enthusiast and founder of Fire & Flow Coffee Roasters, wrote a very interesting article with top tips on how to navigate these uncertain times and reopen your café safely.
On the final part of the series, Callum gives valuable advice on service flow, queueing, ordering and serving.
SERVICE FLOW & QUEUING
Can you mark a safe queuing system outside?
Make a clear and easy to follow queuing system, try your best to not block other shops, make life difficult for other pedestrians and of course try to keep some distance between the queue and any outside customers you may have.
If you want to keep takeaway customers outside of the shop we have seen wireless doorbells and a designated takeaway waiting area complete with a menu. Customers simply read the menu and when they’re ready they hit the doorbell and you can come out to take the order using contactless payment.
Can you develop a nice flow in and out of your shop or make some waiting areas?
If you’re lucky enough to have a large space think of how you can separate those dining in and those waiting for a takeaway. If you’re struggling, look at the system above utilising a wireless doorbell and outdoor space - it’s a really nifty trick!
ORDERING & SERVICE
Can you use apps to take orders?
Also, check with your current EPOS provider to see if they have any options that you can add on. These can be premium options but they will certainly streamline your whole business. Another benefit of this approach is that “mobile ordering has been proven to increase spend-per-head by 10-30%” (Kurve Mobile Ordering). This is certainly helpful in these times!
Should you look into taking table bookings and turnover times?
Can you take orders at tables to stop people walking around your shop?
Can you simplify your menu to make service faster, more casual and easier for any potential customers who may want to take food home?
Can you add a pickup or local delivery service?
If you are able to, it may be an idea to only accept card payments so that your team members are not having to handle any cash. If you do so, provide signage so that this is clear to the customer.
Staff to add milk/sugar to coffees to keep it off of tables
Do you have the wall space for a few large menus?
Keep condiments/cutlery off tables
You can still use reusable cups (with a contact-free process) to keep costs down on takeaway cups and maintain your eco-friendly values by doing the following:
- Have a dedicated space on the front bar where the customer can place their reusable cups
- Ask your customer to remove the lid and ask them to hold on to it
- Pour the espresso into a jug and steam the milk as you normally would
- If the customer has requested sugar, just pour the espresso over it so that it dissolves
- Pour the espresso into the customer's cup without touching the cup
- Pour the hot milk into the customer's cup again without touching it (accept that latte art is not going to happen)
- The customer can now pick up the cup and put the lid on themselves