Future of dining will be a different experience
For the past two months, Bunbury’s food scene has been a shadow of its former self after cafes, restaurants and pubs were forced to close or operate take-away only in the battle against coronavirus.
But with dine-in restrictions being lifted on Monday to allow for 20 patrons at a time, many are getting ready to take the first step towards returning to a sense of normalcy.
And business owners are pleading for patience and understanding as they navigate the path ahead.
While looking forward to being able to offer a dine-in service again, Cafez owner Bianca Fletcher said she was hesitant to get too excited until guidelines for operation became clearer.
She said while businesses had some facts to work with – like the patron limit and having to keep a register of everyone that dines in for contact tracing purposes – the State Government was yet to release further guidelines for operation, which she said could include things like markings on the floor, disposable menus or spit guards at the counter.
“If there are those sorts of elements in there, we’ll need to revisit our costings,” Mrs Fletcher said.
And once the measures were in place, she said she was “very nervous” about managing customer’s expectations and hoped people would realise they were doing their best.
“We may not be able to offer our full menu, we may not have a seat for you if we’re already full,” Mrs Fletcher said.
“...I’m just really hopeful that patrons will be understanding that most of the venues they’ll be visiting are small businesses and they may not have the capacity that they’re expecting in terms of what they can offer.
“Provided we can offer a safe place for our patrons and our staff, we’re going to give it a crack and all we can really do is ask for people’s patience and understanding while we figure it out.”
Cafez owner Bianca Fletcher is asking people to be understanding that the dining experience will be different moving forward.