How Your Café Can Prepare For COVID Restrictions: Tips From Wholesale Food Distributors

COVID-19 has been catastrophic for all businesses, but particularly those in the hospitality industry. Cafés, pubs, bars and restaurants have seen their revenue streams completely grind to a halt during periods of lockdown. When out of national lockdowns cafés, pubs and restaurants have had to adapt to ensure that they operate in line with the restrictions that have been put in place to protect the public health. Although these restrictions can harm the amount of revenue coming in, they are vital to follow in the interest of the nation. If you’re a café owner who remains confused about how to operate your business under COVID restrictions, our wholesale food distributors have some tips to follow. By following these tips, you can protect your staff and customers as well as retain as much revenue as possible under the new rules.

Ensuring Your Café is Safe and Operational During COVID Restrictions

Hygiene is More Important Than Ever

The COVID-19 pandemic means that hygiene is more important than ever. We’re all being encouraged to wash our hands more and bring disinfectant gel wherever we go. However, if you are reopening a café under COVID restrictions, hygiene is essential.

It’s vital that, as a business owner of a café, you spend extra time every day ensuring that tables are wiped down and disinfected after every customer, that toilets are cleaned even more regularly and that kitchen staff pay special attention to their hygiene. One positive that may come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we’re all a bit more clued up on personal hygiene.

Spacial Awareness For Customers

One of the major changes that we’ve all had to make this year is to be more aware of social distancing. The rule of two metres can help to slow the spread of the disease and keep people safe as they’re out and about or enjoying a coffee. You can help customers be more aware of social distancing by placing markers on the floor dictating two-metre distances when queueing up for food. Providing customers with visual cues so they know where to stand and to remind them to give each other space ensures you are doing your bit to encourage social distancing.

Plenty of Signage

It’s important to keep your customers in the know about the latest rules and regulations and the rules that you re abiding by in your café. Have signs on the entrance politely asking your customers to wear a face covering, abide by social distancing and disinfect their hands on arrival. By making the rules clear and reminding customers when they arrive of their obligations, you can help to ensure your café doesn’t become a hot-point for infection rates, forcing you to close while you sanitise the area.

Technology Solutions

Many businesses are adapting to COVID with an increase in tech. To avoid too much social interaction indoors, many cafés and pubs are opting for tech solutions. For example, some businesses encourage their customers to order food and drink via an app on their phone so that they can be served at their table rather than waiting in line. If you run a takeaway café, you could create markers outside and ask your customers to wait in line and order via an app, serving them one-by-one.

Provide Takeaway Options

Cafés and restaurants who previously only sold food and drink indoors may now have to provide takeaway options as a way to survive and thrive during restrictions. Providing the option of takeaway can ensure that you abide by all of the restrictions put in place by the government as well as keep revenue trickling in.

Especially if your café has limited seating space, this can provide you with a method of keeping revenue coming in without putting anyone at risk of infection. Not only can takeaway options help you stay compliant with the law around COVID, but it can also help you develop your business. Although COVID has put huge restrictions on businesses, it’s important to see the opportunities where they are and providing takeaways is certainly one of them.

Have Masks on Arrival For Those Who Have Forgotten Them

Wearing masks is something that we’ve all had to get used to in recent months. It’s not something we’re used to and, for that reason, a lot of us can easily forget to take one out when heading into town for a coffee. Instead of simply turning people away, offering disposable masks on arrival for those who have forgotten them can be a good strategy for building customer relationships and ensuring you remain COVID-safe.

Be Up To Date and Quick To React

One of the many challenges associated with running a café in the age of COVID is that restrictions and rules seem to change on a daily or weekly basis. You must keep up to date with the news and have plenty of planning in place for possible outcomes. For example, you might be required to close again for a national lockdown and it’s vital to have a plan in place for this and other outcomes. Instead of being reactive, aim to be proactive and plan for every possible eventuality. One thing we know from this year is that nothing is ever certain!

Take Any Staff Illness Seriously

It’s more important than ever to take instances of staff illness very seriously. If a member of staff is complaining of a cough, no matter how slight, suggest they take the day off to ensure they don’t have COVID. Let all staff know that they shouldn’t come in if they feel ill and consider putting infrastructure in place to allow them to do administrative work from home or help with online marketing while they are recovering – if that is a possibility for your café.

Use Video Conferencing For Meetings and Interviews Wherever Possible

If you ever do have to have any meetings with your staff or your wholesale food distributors, always aim to do so using video conferencing technology. Similarly, if you need to interview for job openings, consider doing these via video conferences rather than getting people to come into the café as you normally would.

Adapt For Outside Seating

People tend to feel far more comfortable sitting outside in light of COVID and the science suggests that there is less chance of infection when outside. With that in mind, if you have space, consider adapting your business to provide more customers with the option of sitting outside. Of course, as the weather gets colder, this becomes less-viable, but it could be an opportunity for diversity in your business and provide a new opportunity when the weather turns warmer once again.

Freshways: Expert Wholesale Food Distributors in The UK

Established in 1990, Freshways has 30 years of experience as expert wholesale food distributors. As such, we are best-placed to provide you with the fresh dairy products you need for your business. We’re the UK’s largest independent processing dairy. As wholesale food distributors, we have a wide range of products available and can help you with almost any wholesale food requirements you have.

We offer the very freshest choices and provide a reliable service you can trust If you’ve been looking for wholesale food distributors to improve your business in the UK, look no further. We’re a family-run operation with a state-of-the-art processing centre. This combination means that we understand the importance of independence, with the high standards and reach of a conglomerate. When choosing Freshwats as your wholesale food distributors, you can guarantee quality and competitive prices.

To find out more about our services, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at our head office at 16 Eastman Road, Acton, London, W3 7YG. Alternatively, call us on 0208 746 2046 or email us at