A Geelong café reveals how the COVIDSafe plan is helping business.
Many Victorian hospitality businesses will welcome the news they can now host up to 40 customers indoors in groups of 10 with spacing limitations, and up to 70 outside, following the Victorian Government’s easing of restrictions.
It’s fantastic news for husband and wife team, Nick and Gemma Watts, of King of the Castle café in Geelong. Nick and Gemma only took over their business on 11 March 2020 with just 10 days of trading before coronavirus (COVID-19) forced them to a takeaway model.
The couple recently moved from the United Kingdom with their two children. Nick owned a catering company for five years, and prior to that, both Nick and Gemma worked in finance. However, owning a café and moving to Australia was always the dream.
Located on Geelong's popular Pakington Street, King of the Castle is now trading safely thanks to the help of the COVIDSafe Plan template from coronavirus.vic.gov.au.
“We downloaded and completed the template, which really helped us understand our obligations as a business,” said Gemma. “It also means we can take proactive steps to avoid future outbreaks of coronavirus.”
Gemma and her husband have been cautious to ensure they meet the safety requirements to stay open. At the café entrance a staff member checks customer IDs. They also make sure masks are worn at all times, aside from when customers are eating or drinking.
In between images of delicious blueberry hotcakes and lamb brioche sliders on their Instagram and Facebook pages, they also have regular updates to reassure customers of their safety practices inside.
“We want our customers to know we’re looking after them and give them the confidence to come in and support our business,” said Gemma. “We update staff regularly, display density posters in the café, and we thoroughly clean tables and seats after each booking.”
Gemma adds that everyone has got a story to tell with coronavirus (COVID-19) and while it’s been stressful for businesses, as long as everyone sticks to the rules it should be fine. “There’s no denying it’s challenging, but we need to do the right thing to stay open. It’s definitely going to be a completely different summer from the ones we’re used to.”
Business owners in Victoria are being asked to play their part in slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by developing a COVIDSafe Plan. These are now a mandatory requirement for all Victorian businesses that are open for on-site operations. For more information and template plans for your sector, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the hotline on 13 22 15.