So here in New South Wales, we are at last able to go and sit in our favourite café and drink our favourite coffee. No more than ten of us at once at this stage, of course, but sitting down to enjoy this ritual will be a wonderful experience for many.
It is strange to think that, about 25 years ago, the coffee menu in this part of the world consisted of just a couple of variations to ‘black or white’ but, these days, Sydneysiders are very fussy about their morning fix and choose from a much elongated menu not entirely dissimilar, perhaps, to the feelings experienced by the Spanish lady who, recently released from 100% lockdown, appeared on TV saying, “I can put up with the inconvenience of lockdown but I was desperate to be able to go out for breakfast!”
Restaurants, too, are only allowed to cater for a maximum of ten customers at any one time but several, particularly those that are higher priced, are choosing not to open saying, “It’s not worth our while to open for just ten customers; it’s not economic to do so.”
That’s all very well, and probably strictly true in the financial sense, but what about the social value of this gradual return towards normality? Many customers will welcome the gesture and the opportunity to meet up with friends and, it goes without saying that staff members will be very grateful indeed for the opportunity to get back to work and to earn some much needed income for them and their dependent families.
So restaurateurs, this is not just about you, it is about society at large. Join in; you don’t have to offer a full menu at fancy prices supported by more waiters than customers. Rotate your teams on a daily basis, give everyone some hope that things are returning towards normal; let others see smiling faces and hear laughter coming from your restaurant. We all deserve it!