28TH March, 2020

Tips for cafe owners to get through COVID-19.

Tips for cafe owners to get through COVID-19.

Well here we are, navigating unchartered waters as we all attempt to get through probably the most difficult crisis we’re ever going to face both on a personal level and as a small business. We understand the impact to your business and are here to support you as best we can during this tough time. As an industry, we’ve always come together during hardship and more than ever we need each other’s support.

There’s a lot of amazing entrepreneurs out there pivoting their business model to adapt and ensure they make it through to the other side and we’d love to share those strategies with you. Your business and your livelihood matters to us and together we’ll get through this.

Most of our staff are working reduced hours, but we’re still roasting and your BDM is still available to provide support in any way possible. Please do not hesitate to contact them.

Here are some ideas we’ve been trialling in our own cafes and have seen in our travels over the past week or so. If you’d like any more information on the below ideas or assistance to implement, give us a shout:


  • If you don’t already offer retail beans, we offer all wholesale customers retail bags of beans in 250g bags and there is the opportunity for you to make a decent margin on them. In addition, brewing devises and accessories are available to you. Speak to your DBM or customer service for more information. Take phone orders and deliver/drop off locally if you can facilitate it.


  • Is your café set up to facilitate contactless takeaway coffee to maximise social distancing and keep your customers and staff safe.
  • Have cashless payment options.
  • If you can move your espresso bar and POS to the front of the store and be as visible as possible from the street and maximise foot traffic.


  • Dine in is now banned. Developing a simple takeaway menu for your customers to take home will ensure you maximise ingredients, staff and sales. Keep the menu simple and utilise ingredients across multiple dishes if you can.
  • Frozen take home meals, either single serve or to feed the family. If you can use your takeaway menu as a base and offer a selection packed in single serve or bulk pack frozen meals will mean you won’t waste ingredients and your customers can keep their freezers well stocked.


  • Delivery platforms like UberEats, Deliveroo, Door Dash, MenuLog and Hungry Hungry are all still fully operational and can help expand the reach of your services. With less people leaving their homes, this enables you to bring your food and coffee to them. Be aware of delivery charges as follows:
HeyYou YES NO 13.5%
Skip YES NO 10%
Menulog YES NO 13%
UberEats YES YES 30%
Deliveroo NO YES 30%
GloriaFood YES YES Free

*excluding setup costs and fees may vary as some models were reviewing them

  • We’ve developed a set of guidelines for our cafes when packaging wet coffee and food items for delivery. You may find it useful. View guidelines here.
  • If you have staff that you need to keep busy, see if you can manage local delivery yourself.
  • Facilitate drive by collection or carpark pick up. 


  • Skip + Hey You:these are really well known and accepted app ordering platforms. Quick to install but it does mean a 2nd docket printer, you don’t own the database and the fees can be high at 5-6%.
  • Kounta: POS users can turn on Boppl order app program within the POS. Being integrated it uses your existing docket machine unlike Skip or Hey You. Free setup and you can customise your app menu with images. They take roughly 2% and you can turn on your own delivery function.
  • Ordermate: POS users can turn on their proprietary system Hungry Hungry which is not an app but an online ordering system.
  • Redcat:POS users can turn on their Polygon order app program which offers full integration with all the delivery platforms. You can even have your own white label Doordash delivery service where you own the customer database.
  • There are many third party order apps, but utilising your POS provider’s solution and owning the customer database for sales and marketing opportunities is ideal.


  • As above – jump on delivery platforms and utilise order ahead apps.
  • Enable ordering over the phone or via socials.
  • Run geo targeted social ads if you have the budget to permit, if not continue to talk to you followers through unpaid content.
  • Tag @venezianocoffeeroasters in your story and post updates on Instagram and we will do our best to share them with our followers too.
  • If you’re doing anything super special let us know and we will spread the word!


  • Contact your suppliers and friends to sell everyday essentials like bread, milk, eggs, retail coffee, tissues, sanitisers, vegetable boxes etc. if you can become a one stop shop then it minimises the places people have to travel to get the supplies they need.
  • Bundle up products and offers.
  • Offer customers gift cards and pre-paid loyalty systems to minimise number of transactions.


  • No doubt you have a loyal customer base that want to lend you their support, let them know how! Communicate on social media, via email, SMS or loyalty platforms you may have access to.
  • Understand you customer and how you add value to them – help them make good coffee at home. Lend them tips and tricks on how to get the best from their beans at home via video content on socials.
  • Let them know of any changes to your offering or hours of trade.


  • Think outside the box and discover some other ways you can add value in your customer’s life during these quieter months.
  • Do some of the things you never have time for. Build that website, start a blog, re merchandise your retail display.



  • Be transparent, keep staff and customer informed. We’re all going through this together.
  • Ask staff to draw upon leave entitlements and keep as many staff employed as possible, we will come out of this.


  • Don’t panic, but look after yourself. If you’re struggling in dealing with your situation please contact lifeline on 13 11 14.
  • Beyond Blue has a great article to help you look after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak. Read the article.


We’re all in this together and the team at Veneziano will continue to support you as best we can. Please keep the lines of communication open with your BDM, customer service and anyone else in the Veneziano team.

From our team to yours, stay safe x

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