Dining in is back on the table

4 June, 2020

But how can you be a great customer to support our hospitality industry?

After more than two months, restaurants and cafes around Chatswood are finally allowed to welcome some guests to dine in again. For customers, this means you can once again enjoy some of your favourite venues in person, rather than reheating takeaway in the microwave once you get it home. Hooray! But with this new, and hopefully soon growing, freedom comes responsibility. Our restaurants and cafes have taken a massive hit during lockdown and some simple steps now will help to ensure they can continue to stay viable and trade through until all restrictions are finally lifted. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can be an awesome supporter to your favourite venues!

Dine in tip 1: Make a booking

From 1 June 2020, venues around Chatswood will be able to have up to 50 diners on site. This doesn’t mean that every venue can host 50 people though. The actual number will
depend on the venue size, with 4 square metres per person currently required. For diners, this means that it’s a great idea to make a booking so that you know your venue will have space for you. Some venues are having set sitting times to maximise the number of guests that they can host, so you might need to have flexibility to eat earlier or later than you’d normally prefer.

Dine in tip 2: Turn up on time

Because restaurants and cafes are trying to remain financially viable with lower customer numbers, many venues have fixed sitting times, for example 5.30pm to 7pm and 7.30pm to
9pm. This is to allow them to accommodate more customers, and of course, to conduct adequate cleaning between diners. So, turning up on time is essential to maximise your dining window.

Of course, the other essential point that should go without saying, is actually show up. If you’ve made a booking, that means that the venue has quite likely turned away other people as a result. With limited spaces, this could put a substantial dent in their potential takings for the night. If you know you aren’t going to make it, do the right thing and provide as much notice as possible.

Dine in tip 3: Don’t linger

If you’ve dropped into your favourite café or restaurant that’s just doing walk-ins rather than bookings and have nabbed a table, be respectful of the time you take. Way back BC (before COVID-19), many of us loved lingering over a coffee having a chat with a mate. But now, that table is a hot commodity. If you’re just having a $4 coffee, maybe grab it to go and leave the table for someone who’s spending $20 on a full meal. If you’ve finished eating, pay up and free the table for another guest. And later this year, when restrictions have eased further, your favourite venues will have a better chance of still being there for you to have your leisurely meal once again.

Dine in tip 4: Prioritise health and hygiene

Finally, it’s important to remember that while we’ve done a great job limiting the spread of COVID-19, we aren’t out of the woods yet. And as we head into cold and flu season, it’s just
a good idea generally to remember the lessons we’ve learnt over the past few months. This means:

  • If you’re feeling even the slightest bit sick, stay home and get your favourite food delivered instead (just remember to cancel your restaurant bookings as early as possible!)
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid physical contact with people outside your immediate household members.

So stay healthy, avoid complacency, and enjoy the chance to dine in once again!