Takeout is back on the cards starting Wednesday for many New Zealanders, and South Island businesses are already busy preparing to reopen their doors.
While they were relieved that some customers returned, the companies RNZ spoke with said that operating below Tier 3 was not without its challenges.
In Nelson, Burger Culture co-owner Zoe Williams was happy to reopen with even the strictest rules.
“Face masks should be worn at all times, always with gloves and if they touch something that someone else could have touched or touched their face, then those gloves have to go and put on a new pair or wash their hands,” Williams said.
“We have a policy where you have to wash your hands or change your gloves every 15-20 minutes or 20-30 minutes.”
It also meant physical distancing, which he said was no easy task in a small kitchen, but they would also have personnel bubbles instead.
Although level 3 was difficult, Williams said it was necessary to do so.
“I think the main thing is to ensure that our staff are safe and comfortable. That is probably our highest priority. We don’t want anyone to come to work who feels they are not safe, so we have to make sure the environment is in place then. “.
In Christchurch, ChiChi Kitchen owner Eugene Chang had been preparing to welcome customers since the closing began.
“In fact, we changed our website to accept online payments through our website. People who place an order can also make an online payment for delivery services or there is a contactless pickup service.”
As a chef, I wasn’t sure about getting supplies before opening on Wednesday, especially after a recent trip to the grocery store and discovering there were no eggs.
“There is nothing there, so it’s a big question mark if we can get all the supplies in time so that we have everything ready by Wednesday morning.”
“I can’t be sure of that, but I have to place an order, I just wait for the supply to arrive.”
In South Invercargill, The Batch co-owner Kate French was completely redoing her lists.
“We will trade with reduced hours, from 7 am to 1 pm. Our level 3 trade, we will trade in coffee and baked goods only, so it is a big reduction in our offer and it is a matter of juggling with the staff to give you an fair charge to staff. of hours. “
Customers would have to wait a little longer for the full menu to resume.
“The reduced offering we did last time with baked goods and a couple of cabinet options worked last time for what our customers wanted. But we will have to adapt as we go.
“We are trying to sell food in text format through our app instead of a visual point of sale and that’s where we found that those baked goods worked great last time instead of an amazing dish they can’t see. And it only has a text description. “
French was happy to take a more cautious approach to level changes.
“There is also a total risk to us under level 2. We have people walking through our doors so you know that the risk of us getting a case on site and shutting down for an extended period of time is quite significant to us.
“So yeah, there are no cases here. But I think Delta turns things around a bit and definitely supports a more cautious approach within reason.”
Moving to level 3 would make no difference to Manapouri Church Bar and Eatery owner Gyrth Sturley.
“Opening during level 3 in a very small community like Manapouri is not economically viable because by the time all of your fryers and associated equipment are up and running, maybe an occasional person will come over for a takeout, they just don’t have economic sense.. “
Sturley wanted to see level 2 by the end of the week if the South Island did not have any community cases.
“If we don’t have cases on the South Island, there should be absolutely no reason why they couldn’t make a decision in those three days and say ‘yes, we can go to level 2 on the South Island.’ Which would not only help small businesses, but it would help the whole South Island and the whole country because we could get the job back up and running. “
While Level 3 would fuel some declining bank balances, other companies like Sturley’s were still crouching.