Dining In From Friday

Filed in Just In by May 13, 2020

ANNIE Baker is preparing her cafe for Friday, when pandemic restrictions will ease to allow 10 people to go to her cafe, but there is a lot to consider.

The government has allowed cafes and restaurants to have 10 customers from Friday, if they ensure they only have one customer per foursquare metres and social distancing of 1.5 metres is observed.

The Restaurant and Catering Industry of Australia has issued guidelines for their members including maintaining a register of all customers, verifying if customers have the CovidSAFE app, sanitising chairs and tables after every customer and not having condiments on the table.

Annie said, the measures to have indoor dining are extensive, so she has decided the most manageable approach is to have outdoor dining options for her customers in her courtyard and out the front of the cafe.

Annie Baker getting ready for the easing of restrictions on Friday at Asser House in Scone.

Customers will be able to phone ahead to book a table to eat at the cafe.

Annie had heard Newcastle Council had waived all of their fees associated with cafes having tables and chairs in front of their business and contacted Upper Hunter Shire Council could ask if local businesses could have the same assistance.

In October last year the Council waived the fees charges for each individual chair and table, but still charged a licencing fee.

Annie received confirmation from Council this morning stating all fees will be waived, allowing her to place two tables with chairs at the front of her cafe for her customers.

“All we have to do now is a scalable drawing for where we will place the tables and chairs, I’ve added the Council to my public liability insurance and it should be approved in a couple of days,” said Annie.

“If you have a booking for a meal, you can come and have a meal, otherwise it’s mostly going to be take away, because with a ten people limit it’s going to be extremely difficult to regulate,” she said.

“People need to have the CovidSAFE app, sign our register with their name, address, email address and phone number to adhere to the best practice guidelines.

“We need to keep the register for 28 days and then we will destroy the pages, but if there is an issue then they can quickly see who has been here, who has been in contact and that’s because you have been in for more than 15 minutes with others, if you are just getting a takeaway, there is no need for customers to fill in the register,” she said. 

“Everyday there are new regulations and new changes, so we are trying to work within the guidelines to keep everyone safe, including us,” she said. 

“We will put paper down on the tables, however now we won’t be able to provide pencils, so people will have to bring their own,” smiled Annie Baker.

Pubs and Clubs – Restaurants Can’t Allow Dine In Customers Yet

Romy Kelaher at the Belmore Hotel said they were considering how they may accommodate dine in options, but has since been advised restaurants and cafes in pubs will not be allowed to open to ten customers dining in.

“We had been looking at what it would involve and trying to work out what is mandatory and what are recommendations and it is changing all the time,” said Romy.

“There is a recommendation of one wait staff per table, so if you have five tables of two, that is five staff members and I understand that reduces the risk of cross contamination, but we then have to weigh if it is viable financially,” she said. 

Like many local food businesses the Belmore has been thankful for the number of customers ordering takeaway meals.

“Takeaways are going well, it’s fairly steady and the repeat customers is just fantastic,” said Romy.

“We are also going to do an industry “biggest snitz night” on Tuesday, where people can order take away schnitzels, so we’ll be part of that,” she said.

“And we’re going to try and keep the Scone Cup alive, we will be running a fashions off the field on our Facebook page, were people can dress up and send in their photos and we’ll live stream the entertainment we had booked for the night, it’s just that none of us will be able to go out there,” Romy Kelaher said.


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