Cafes and restaurants in the Bundaberg Region will allow up to 10 seated diners from Saturday as Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions ease.
The Deli managers Ashton and Hayley Anderson welcomed the news, saying their staff were all eager to see familiar faces dining in the cafe again.
The Deli employs people with a disability. Long-time employee and apprentice chef Adam Rohan said he was keen to see people enjoying one of his gourmet sandwiches again.
“I have missed seeing everyone and the interaction that comes with customer service,” Adam said.
“I miss the customer service and seeing our regulars.”
Hayley said the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions would bring back the relaxed-and-chilled atmosphere which The Deli was known for while ensuring the social-distancing guidelines were adhered to.
“We are busy spreading out the tables to allow just 10 people to be seated at one time,” she said.
Hayley said during the restrictions they were able to keep all of their 20 staff employed by introducing food deliveries, but they were all looking forward to the easing of restrictions and returning to dine-in options.
Ashton said The Deli had stayed open throughout the COVID-19 restrictions with take-way and delivery of meals, but he knew the staff were all keen to have a little bit of normality return to the casual café on Targo Street.
“Happy workers, happy customers, it all reflects on each other, and we can’t wait to start serving here again from tomorrow (16 May),” he said.
More customers at Gin Gin Bakery
Maree Baker owns the Gin Gin Bakery and she is over the moon about the COVID-19 restrictions easing. She hopes to see people who have been home bound venture out for one of their favourite chocolate eclairs.
“We had to cut back our hours when the restrictions first came in to place, but as of tomorrow (16 May) we have normal trading hours return, and we are so excited to see people again,” Maree said.
“We have had locals book in a table for next Tuesday. We have never had bookings before, so it’s weird, but also so nice to know people are keen to come back to enjoy a coffee.”
Maree said it wasn’t just the locals she looks forward to see return, as the State Government relaxes recreational travel distance, which will allow people to drive from as far as Hervey Bay or Agnes Water to Gin Gin Bakery for one of their baked goods.
“We rely a lot of passing traffic here, and I know when the 50km travel distance was allowed we got a little busier, so we are hoping to see more people from tomorrow,” she said.
“And it is good news for everyone as my son Robert’s chocolate eclair will be back on the menu again, after we had slowed down and he stopped making them.”
Insane Caffeine at Childers will also welcome back customers to eat-in dining on Saturday with a new winter-inspired menu.
Employee Ella Chapman said they were keen to have up to 10 people seated at anyone time and she asked them to be mindful during these times.
“It’ll be great to have customers return, we have definitely missed them, we ask that they are understanding during this time and we will do our best,” Ella said.
Council to support with business transition
Bundaberg Regional Council will be assisting Queensland Health and businesses with the new State Government directives.
COVID-19 portfolio spokesman, Cr Greg Barnes, said Council was pleased to support the State Government to help businesses transition.
“Council will be taking a support role in facilitating this government directive and will be sending out an email to all our food businesses detailing the Queensland Government checklist and resources,” Cr Barnes said.
“We anticipate that the premises which have remained doing takeaway will be the first to commence the 10 customer option with others to follow as further restrictions are lifted.
“This is good news for our food business and Council’s Environmental Health team will be doing whatever we can to assist food shops to get back up and running again.”