Bundaberg cafe and restaurant owners are taking the opportunity to rejuvenate and renovate their businesses while Coronavirus restrictions are in force.
Oodies Café owners Suzy Evans and Jenny Haack said it was the perfect time to have a “spring clean in the middle of autumn”, and they were working hard repainting and opening up an entire wall at their Bundaberg North small business.
Suzy said in the six years since opening the cafe they had always wanted to renovate and repaint, but they never the time as they operated seven days a week.
On the news of the Coronavirus regulations closing cafes for sit-down customers, and allowing for takeaway only, Suzy said she thought they would have all the time in the world and had grand plans to give the cafe a big makeover.
But loyal customers continued to order their takeaway hit of caffeine and food, and Suzy described how her team were amazed they were being kept busy.
“A dear friend of ours cut a hole in the wall, where original windows use to be, to open the cafe up,” Suzy said.
“We always had plans to do it, but we have been flat out for six years, so we thought we would make the most of a bit of quiet time.
“Now the guys (staff) that are still here are multitasking between making takeaway coffees, they are definitely doing jobs they wouldn’t normally do and learning new skills, even by just picking up a paint brush.”
Suzy said Coronavirus would change Australia, but the strength of the community would remain strong on the other side of the pandemic.
“We could all use a little calm in our lives, and instead of focusing on the doom and gloom we wanted to get in and give the place a change,” she said.
“The biggest disappointment out of any of this, is that we have not been able to keep all our staff on. But we are making the most of it and staying positive.
“When we come out the other side, when they take the restrictions off everything will be different for everyone, things won’t be the same and we’ve taken the opportunity to freshen up a few of our areas.”
Food businesses are like families
The Club Hotel owners Rodney Wheat and Leon Crossett are doing everything they can to keep busy during the Coronavirus regulations and are in the middle of repainting the local entertainment venue.
With the eating areas cleared out, Leon donned his painting attire and set to work to ensure the Club Hotel was rejuvenated and ready to go once the Coronavirus regulations had lifted.
“We are used to working 80 hours a week each, so we really don’t know how to sit at home doing nothing,” Rodney said.
“Just like Suzy, we are a business that is like a family and in the pub community you get to know your customers.
“The first week we sat around and had a cry but then we thought what could we do to try to keep as many staff as possible to support them.
“I know we aren’t the only ones in this boat, and we are staying motivated and positive while we wait to open again and welcome back our customers and friends.”
Rodney said for people craving their pub meals the Club Hotel was currently open two days a week for takeaway meals on a Friday and Saturday.
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