Can Cafes / Restaurants Stay Open? How Coronavirus has locked down Australia.

Posted by: Moe Assafiri
Category: News
Can Cafe's Stay Open

It’s a distressing time for cafe and hospitality owners. We’ve worked with 100’s of cafes, restaurants and entrepreneurs and have heard from many about the 50%, 60% even 90% dip in sales; shutting doors and standing down staff.

With the government restrictions in place, and the inconsistent messaging Australia’s are getting from the many layers of governments, the common question we are asked is: can cafes and restaurants stay open?

Can Cafes and Restaurants Stay Open?


Cafes and Restaurants can stay open – and it should for as long as the cafe/restaurant can operate safely and within the guidelines set by State and Federal government.

There are some guidelines imposed by the Australian Health Department that you cafes must adhere to:

  1. Cafes and Restaurants can only serve Takeaway & Delivered food and coffee. No dine in.
  2. If a cafe staff member is sick, or self-isolating (returning from overseas or in contact with a known case) – They must stay home in isolation for 14 days.
  3. Cafe staff must wash their hands regularly (although this is nothing out of the ordinary for hospitality staff).

Update: Today, our Prime Minster listed any job that is still viable as being essential. That’s a pretty clear indication that if you can fill a job, keep that job. For as long as you have a justification to keep brining your staff in, and customers to service, keep it running.

How can cafes/Restaurants pivot focus on takeaway or delivery?

Cafe Delivery/Order Ahead Apps

Australian’s are opting for contact-less delivery and pickup. In order to facilitate this, some of the clever businesses we are working with are using technology to create mobile order ahead and delivery systems.

UberEats and similar companies have also seen a surge in sales. We discourage the use of UberEats and MenuLog simply because they take such a large share of the venue’s revenue. Many people are unaware of the 38.5% cut that Uber takes from your local cafe – that’s excluding the delivery fee that they slug customers.

Our recommendation is to speak to us about building your own online ordering system that integrates into your POS. These platforms take a much smaller percentage cut (about 3% + monthly fee) and integrate straight into your POS so no additional overhead is needed in your business.


Opinion: Should they stay open for human safety?

This is a tricky topic to navigate around. On one hand, our economy and all it’s intertwined elements are experiencing a shock that hasn’t been seen in decades. On the other hand, people leaving their homes, going into work, are being exposed to a potentially life threatening virus. In my opinion, if the hospitality manager is willing to stay open, and that’s a risk that they’re happy to take, with staff who are also share that risk, then the decision should be left in their hands; with the exception that all parties are paid penalty rates (this means higher prices for us, the customer). However, if we continue to see the numbers of COVID-19 cases tick up in Australia, at the rate that they are, it may be all in our best interest to skip the morning coffee from our local, and instead reach for some instant.

Be safe and know that we will get through this together, not just Australia, but all of human kind.

Author: Moe Assafiri
Mouhamed "Moe" Assafiri has a degree in Information Systems and over 5 year experience with cloud Point of Sale implantation and networking. He has worked with a range of Point of Sale solutions available in Australia and world-wide and delivered 100's of hospitality and retail projects across Australia.

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