Covid 19: Contactless coffee the order as cafes and restaurants swing seamlessly into alert level 3 action

Auckland’s cafes and restaurants have swung back into level 3 action this morning, offering contactless coffees and takeaways at short notice.

Constant rain kept the first morning of lockdown quiet in some areas but other cafes reported a busy morning with local support.

James Bryant, the owner of the Takapuna Beach Cafe, said staff were well prepared and briefed for contactless service.

Auckland’s quick move to level 3 operation at 11.59 pm last night was something businesses were dreading but prepared for.

“We always knew this was a possibility, it is just the nature of the business at the moment,” Bryant said.

“We had masks and equipment stockpiled and we have just got back into it, it has been quite a busy morning.”

The beachside cafe offered online and phone orders for anything from coffee to eggs Benedict or fish and chips.

Staples of bread and milk were also available for pickup.

“We still have gelato as well but that is in a cup instead of a cone because of level 3.”

At Dizengoff on Auckland’s usually busy Ponsonby Rd business was at a third of normal with other retailers closed.

“It was easy to set up because we were prepared from last time but it is never easy,” owner Phil said.

“I have got staff asking about pay and hours. We are hoping it doesn’t extend past three days but who knows.”

Cafe owners Catherine Cao and Sophie Chen at Yours Sincerely Cafe in Jutland Rd off Hauraki Corner on Auckland’s North Shore said the morning had been propped up by regular customers.

Posts on Facebook calling for people to support small businesses who offered contactless pickup and could still operate in level 3 had helped.

A small table for pickup and a large plastic screen packed away from the last level 3 lockdown were reinstalled.

“We quickly got set up and we were open first thing,” Chen said.

“All our food is home-made so we have very loyal customers and people have been coming in even though the weather is terrible.”

Andrew Dann at Circus Circus Cafe in Mt Eden said the rain had not impacted the first morning of level 3 with locals out to support.

“It was a very easy set up because we were prepared from last time we were in lockdown,” Dann said.

“We have a table outside for contactless pick up like all of the other cafes and we have cabinet food ready to go.”

The business also had online orders and offered UberEats.

Under level 3 food outlets can operate as long as they can offer contactless delivery or pick up, wear masks and PPE and customers can maintain the two-metre social distancing.

They cannot have physical storefronts open to the public, and customers cannot dine on-site.

Retail stores can also open under level 3 but have to operate click and collect style contactless pickup or delivery with no customers in-store.

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