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Post lockdown 2020.

To our dearest customers who we love very much!

There’s something I need to get off my chest and I’m pretty sure this isn’t just me or our shop experiencing this, but for all of the hospitality industry which is currently on its knees.

The other day, one of my staff members went home and cried. Not because she doesn’t enjoy her job or was unable to handle the pressure, but because after a full day of hard work she felt utterly defeated. We all did.

It seems that during our time away, people have forgotten how to respect others. Then amount of pressure and demand placed on our staff at the moment is extortionate. We understand the excitement of the world finally returning to normal and are so happy to have you all visiting our shop again, but please be patient with us while we continue to find our feet in this chaos and try to adjust.

Anyway, I’m writing this to make a few reminders.

4 months ago, we were forced to close and had no idea if there would be a chance of us reopening ever again. A small family business raised from the ground up for over 10 years was hanging on by a thread. All staff were told to stay home unsure if they would be paid for the month and we as a company were left with nothing more than the promise of a government grant. During this we decided as a family to begin doing deliveries out of our kitchen to keep the business afloat. This resulted in 4 months of non-stop work leaving us exhausted and still without knowledge of what would happen to our cafes.

We were lucky enough to be able to re-open in the early weeks of July after months of endless hard work; this sadly wasn’t the case for many other small businesses that were forced to close permanently. We are eternally grateful for this opportunity. Once we did manage to re-open with new guidelines in place we were nervous but excited with no idea what to expect over the coming weeks.

Following government guidelines we removed tables to ensure a 1 metre + distance between customers, advised staff with new and very strict sanitising regimes for the shops, provided hand sanitiser at multiple locations and reduced the number of staff on shift to ensure the safety of everyone.

This was hard enough.

Then, were thrown into the ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme to increase sales across the hospitality industry and help to keep the cafes afloat. This helped us massively, but did of course result in a complete overflow of walk in’s and bookings.

The demand was tough but we have continued to provide outstanding customer service and quality food to our much appreciated customers throughout the month. On average, all food is out in less than 15 minutes, but sometimes when we’re busy there will be a slight delay. We believe that a 15 minute wait for freshly cooked food in a busy café is above standard as in most restaurants you would expect to wait much longer. However, we have received some complaints and abuse from customers who feel this is too long. I would like to point out that we are currently standing on very limited staff and some days run on just one chef in the kitchen preparing food for up to 75 customers at a time. As I’m sure you can understand, this is a tremendous amount of work for one person, so we’re asking you as customers to be patient while we lovingly prepare your food.

In my 15 years serving the hospitality industry, I have never witnessed such abuse and disrespect from customers. Our main goal right now is to keep everyone safe, above speed of service and customer flow, so please respect this.

Furthermore, following some criticisms about our booking system;

We have taken on an amazing new team who manage our bookings. Customers are required to fill a booking form online and our team will get back to you whether we have a slot or not.

Filling this form does not mean you have a table guaranteed as this is just a request. We receive over 100 booking requests every day and we always respond within 48 hours.

You cannot book for the same day or next day.

We also only accept bookings for 4+ as we want to keep tables available for walk-ins. Following guidelines, we can only sit groups up to 6 people. We recommend you book as far in advance as possible and please try to refrain from disrespecting us and our system over the phone. Unfortunately, this is a common issue.

This was not intended for offense, just a simple reminder to be aware of the current situation plaguing the health of millions of people. We are all just trying our best.

Be kind, be patient and stay safe.

Lots of love

Natalie XXX

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