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Contactless Coffee: How to Create a COVID Safe Cafe Ordering System

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Coffee lovers will tell you that a bad day with coffee is better than a good day without it. For many, grabbing a morning brew from their fave café is an essential part of the rise and grind of daily life. This ritual has become a lifeline amid lockdowns and working from home, offering a break from the monotony and a glimpse of normal life.

For café owners, keeping staff and customers safe is the ticket to staying open during COVID-19. No one wants their business to be at the centre of an outbreak. But with rules constantly changing and outbreaks continually popping up, staying afloat is more challenging than ever.

Implementing a contactless café ordering system and other COVID safe practices will protect your business and show coffee lovers you’re serious about doing the right thing. The below tips will help you serve up the most important meal of the day and keep everyone safe.


Reduce touch points

  • Follow the lead of Starbucks and Gloria Jeans by supplying items such as sugar, lids and stirrers upon order fulfilment.
  • Modify behind the counter processes to limit close contact between workers. Ensure front of house workers can collect food without entering preparation areas.
  • Encourage online Order@table for dine-in customers through a digital platform such as HungryHungry. Customers simply scan a QR code to access your stunning digital menu. No more stained, germy printed menus. It’s the ultimate café online ordering system!

Embrace online ordering

  • The use of technology-based ordering systems for restaurants and cafés is increasing faster than you can say “half-strength skinny latte extra hot”. Forbes predicts a continual shift to frictionless ordering and payment with increased online and mobile orders for pickup and delivery.
  • Using an online coffee ordering system like HungryHungry means customers can order and pay online from their own device. No coffee ordering app required! Everything operates through a user-friendly online platform.
  • Encourage advance ordering for pickup. Customers love the convenience of ordering from home or the car and get a text when their order is ready to collect…it’s the perfect WFH escape!
  • Use off-peak deals to stagger orders and reduce congestion. Send offers that encourage orders outside rush times via HungryHungry SMS marketing.

Switch up your space

  • According to government guidelines, “in most cases, outdoor settings have better natural airflow than indoor areas,” so go alfresco if possible. Set up a counter at the door or use a window for service. Many local councils have relaxed outdoor dining regulations so check with your local authority on what’s possible in your location.
  • Ensure indoor spaces are well ventilated by opening windows and doors or adjusting air conditioning. Avoid directing fans towards people’s faces.
  • Create separate traffic flows for takeaway and dine-in to reduce contact between patrons. Use clear signage and floor stickers so everyone knows what to do.
  • Place QR codes for online ordering in a visible location outside so customers can order takeaway safely from their phones without queuing.

Perfect the contactless pour

  • Unsure about accepting reusable cups? A statement published by scientists and health professionals concerned about increases in single-use items due to COVID-19 said reusable systems could be used safely by adopting basic hygiene.
  • Australians throw away 7 million single-use coffee cups every day! It is possible to accept reusable coffee cups and stay COVID safe by using the contactless pour method either with a tray or on a counter.
  • Only accept clean, washed and dry cups or containers and use signs to communicate your requirements.
  • Oh, and we’re gonna spill the beans here… swap and go systems such as Green Caffeen or Huskee are good for cafés, customers and the planet. Customers ordering online can add a note to request their brew in a swap and go cup.

Implement a COVID Safe workplacepexels-ron-lach-8440092

  • Bean there, done that? Most cafés are all over implementing COVID safe workplaces. You’ll know about the importance of handwashing or using hand sanitiser, particularly after being in contact with high touch surfaces.
  • But did you know that proper cleaning is a two-step process? The first step is cleaning, which involves using a detergent and clean cloth to wipe dirt off the surface. The second is disinfection which requires a separate cloth and disinfectant to kill the germs.
  • Appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks is essential. It may come as a surprise to many but “your mask is not a scarf, a chin strap that keeps your toupee on your head, or a turtle-neck sweater without the sweater part (Forbes)." A mask should cover your nose and mouth. Ensure everyone wears their masks properly - this can be done in a fun and non-confronting way.
  • Coughing and sneezing at work have never been cool. Send staff who are unwell home. State-funded cash payments may be available for team members who need to get a COVID test or self-isolate.
  • Online ordering systems like HungryHungry can help create a safe workplace by reducing transactional interactions and cash handling. Instead, your team can focus on setting the mood and connecting with customers.

Create a COVID safe plan for your coffee business

  • Many states require hospitality venues to register a COVID safe plan. Check out the regulations for your state, and be sure to keep your plan up-to-date.
  • Most templates require detail on how you’re keeping staff and customers safe such as how your café online ordering system minimises direct contact between staff and customers, conditions of entry and cleaning procedures.
  • Display COVID check-in information and ensure all customers check in properly. Provide customers who cannot check-in online with an alternative option.

Coffee is a drink of hope in a world full of chaos and Mondays. While managing a café during a pandemic can be exhausting for café owners, adopting a perfect blend of COVID-safe measures and a café ordering system can keep everyone safe.

HungryHungry has already helped over 1,500 restaurants, pubs and bars across Australia to stay in business during COVID-19. A tasty one-stop shop for all your business needs, HungryHungry can fulfil orders in four ways; dine-in, pickup, drive-up and delivery. Stunning digital menus and instant online payments make contactless coffee a breeze.

Find out how you can keep the lights on during lockdown with HungryHungry. Book a demo today.