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How Sydney’s Food And Drink Venues Are Responding To Coronavirus

Bars, Cafes, Restaurants / March 16, 2020

In uncertain times, Sydney’s food and drink venues are at the front-line of the coronavirus panic. So, how are they responding?

We’ve seen some pretty crazy scenes across Australia (and the world) in recent weeks. From shoppers brawling over grocery supplies in supermarkets to frantic stockpiling of toilet paper nationwide, fear and panic have been spreading faster than coronavirus itself. And we admit, these are uncertain times. The next few days, weeks and months seem unclear, as changes to travel, grocery store hours and social distancing measures increase.

Although we’re all worried about what the future has in store, showing our support for those working in the food, drink and events industries has never been more important. Although a few changes and extra precautions need to be taken to ensure everyone’s health and safety, we’re passionate about showing our support for small businesses across our beautiful city.

Our hope is that this guide will encourage Sydneysiders to continue to visit their favourite cafes, bars and restaurants across the city (as long as it is safe to do so). If any new developments or changes come into effect, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

So what strategies are venues putting into place to stop the spread of the coronavirus? Keep reading to find out more.

Encouraging take-away

Although many restaurants, cafes and bars are staying open as usual (for the time being), a number are shifting the style of service they are offering. A number of venues have introduced takeaway menus and encourage punters to grab-and-go, rather than dining in. This enables businesses to continue to trade while encouraging social distancing measures.

Cash-free and contactless payments

Another key initiative we’ve seen at a number of venues has been the move away from cash payments. In an effort to reduce physical interactions between staff and customers, a number of cafes and restaurants will now be operating with card or contactless payments only. This hopes to make the payment process smoother and less stressful for all involved. For those of us wanting to take active steps to avoid direct contact with others, coming ready with your card can be a smart and proactive move to make.

Reducing and staggering seating arrangements

In response to the government recommendations for Australian’s to practice social distancing, some venues are changing their seating arrangements to allow dine-in customers more space between tables. This will enable customers to still grab a seat and show their support for Sydney’s food and drink venues without being too close to others during their visit.

Keeping communicating channels open

Across the city, hospitality venues are doing their best to keep patrons abreast of what strategies they are putting in place to ensure the health and safety of guests. Plus, many are using this as an opportunity to remind customers they are still open and serving (as long as it is safe to do so).

From regular updates on Instagram Stories to frequent email newsletters, one of the best ways to keep up to date with the latest changes at your favourite venues is to make sure you’re following them on social media. Plus, this is a great opportunity to show your support for these businesses online, too.

Removing keep cups

Many cafes and coffee shops across Sydney are putting a temporary ban on the use of keep cups in their stores. Although we’re all for preventing waste and working towards a greener world, the priority at the moment is to ensure the health of all coffee lovers (and that means both staff and patrons).

A number of well-known coffee spots such as the CBD’s Regiment coffee, Surry Hills’ Paramount Cofee Project, Sample Coffee’s three outposts (across Surry Hills, St Peters and their new Old Gold Cafe in Chippendale) will be using paper cups only for all takeaway coffee orders.

So, what other ways can you support Sydney’s hospitality industry during this time?

Although we would love everyone to get out and visit venues across the city, we acknowledge that not everyone might feel comfortable dining out during this time. We’ve put together some suggestions for other ways you can throw your support behind the food and drink sector over the coming days and weeks:

  • Order takeaway meals from your favourite cafes and restaurants
  • Order coffee online from your favourite roaster or coffee shop
  • Purchase gift cards to use at restaurants and venues later in the year
  • Head online and buy merch from your favourite venues (such as tote bags, cookbooks, tableware and more)

Have you seen a great initiative in the food and drink space? Get in touch with us at newsletter@eatdrinkplay.com. We’d love to hear from you. 

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