What a crazy two weeks it has been. From the start of this month we have been permitted to have 1 person per 4sqm. Though this is still a huge change turning a 70 seater restaurant into one that can work with only 30 it seems like the hard work we put in throughout the lockdown and beforehand is starting to pay off. It is still too early to really know as we won't ever be able to compare how we are doing until we open to full capacity, our customers have continued to regularly come back and that is something we are so grateful for. The regular customers means we have been able to bring back even more of our staff, with our junior waiters returning alongside some of our more senior staff. To add to this we have now found a young and passionate employee who we hope will soon be able to take over with a lot of the management duties so my partner and I can work on continuing to drive the restaurant to become one of the best on the northern beaches.
Though we still aren't in a position to be making money with such a limited amount of customers the end is finally in sight, and we edge closer and closer every day to the possibility of being able to return to business as usual (and hopefully the possibility of both myself and my partner finally being able to receive a salary, even if only a small one). For the moment the security for our staff is enough, and the governments JobKeeper package (though not many of our staff qualify as we are so new) has been helping significantly. It is very disheartening however to see so many restaurants blatantly breaking the rules and seeing no repercussions. We have always worked incredibly hard to adhere to government regulations, and will continue to do so, though it almost feels like those of us who are obeying the rules are being punished for doing so as there is no penalty for breaking them.
Our new pizza chef has also been settling in nicely, and though I now find myself in the kitchen 6 days a week to help ensuring there is not too much pressure on the chefs we are starting to slowly rebuild a team that we hope can take us forward long into the future (assuming we aren't forced to shut again!).
The final update is that we will definitely be opening back up for lunch and are aiming to do this at the start of next month. It was difficult trying to build a reputation for lunch and being shut down straight away, but since then we have had so much interest we cannot justify not giving it our best shot and maximising the hours we are open, in particular since we cannot even get near capacity at night. We are also very close to releasing the Crento Club which although it has been significantly delayed we hope will give us the security we need to progress as we rebuild.