How cafés and restaurants in Nagaland are taking precautionary measures for customers’ safety
Kohima, Oct. 21 (EMN): With the state government finally allowing dining-in, people have started coming out to eat at restaurants, cafés and streets instead of opting for takeaways. During break hours especially afternoons, people were seen thronging restaurants, ordering and making themselves comfortable to dine-in.
Eastern Mirror visited a few cafés and restaurants in Kohima town to see how precautionary measures were being maintained for the safety of employees and customers.
Proprietor of Café Aurora, Anuo spoke about how they employ safety measures at her café. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, she has been trying to keep her staff “very” safe. One thing she always does is in encouraging them to drink lots of hot water, ginger, and lemon tea.
She added that they provide employees with nutritious food so as to keep them healthy. The employees are also encouraged to take vitamins that can boost their immunity, she said.
Unless they are at home, wearing face masks and sanitising hands are a priority. Washing the hands is mandatory for all the employees. Keeping their hands clean and maintaining a healthy body is important.
Anuo added that they always sanitise customers when they enter the café, for which a fumigation machine has been kept. In addition, hand sanitiser and wearing a mask in the café are compulsory, she said.
Further, she spoke about how the lockdown “badly affected” the business but somehow they were able to sustain it through the period by utilising their savings and providing home delivery services. Somehow, they were able to pay the staffs’ salaries in full except for one month.
During the total lockdown, they tried to keep the staff occupied and even started home-based jobs such as making paper bags and gardening. It was during this period that the café started offering home delivery services, Anuo said.
The ‘few things’ such as making paper bags and gardening that kept her and the employees occupied during the lockdown are now used for home delivery packages. Even for items like burgers and garnish, they used home grown vegetables that were sown during the total lockdown, Anuo said.
Now that the customers have started coming in to dine, she said she has to catch up with the losses that were incurred during the lockdown. She is hopeful that they would be able to build up the business again.
According to Anuo, the pandemic has been a wake-up call for everybody. She challenged the Naga youths by telling them that there are many things they can do to earn their livelihood as Nagaland is a resourceful land. Citing paper bags, she encouraged youths to start small instead of aiming for big income. Further, she added that it is time to stop depending on parents and the government to feed them.
‘It is time for us to wake up and make the best use of our lives,’ she said.
Also, the founder and chief executive officer of Été Coffee, Lichan Humtsoe, shared how safety protocols were taken at his café.
As for its employees, they wear face masks and face shields when working. One of the measures is that they make sure coffee cups are sterilised with steaming hot water, he said.
He said that they decided to invest in the cups. Whether customers are going dine in or take out, it doesn’t matter as the cups are a take-away.
This was initiated so that we don’t have the risk of drinking in the same cup even after washing or sterilising it, Humtsoe said.
Été Coffee took these long-term measures because of the pandemic, and addressing similar situations in the future is in the cup too. He explained that the lid of the cup is made of 100% sugarcane bagasse, which is biodegradable and compostable.
The lid is expensive but ‘we are willing to pay because what we learned from the pandemic is that it taught us to find balance with nature. This is our way of saying that so long we take this earth and not pollute them, there should be natural balance,’ Humtsoe said adding that it was a big step for a small business like Été coffee.