The amazing way small businesses are adapting to coronavirus

ADAPTATION: Karen Miller and Lucinda Dazos of Lucinda's Pantry at Robertson, NSW. Take away dinner supplies and home delivery are replacing the usual room full of coffee drinkers and locals who lunch.
ADAPTATION: Karen Miller and Lucinda Dazos of Lucinda's Pantry at Robertson, NSW. Take away dinner supplies and home delivery are replacing the usual room full of coffee drinkers and locals who lunch.

Does the COVID-19 pandemic mean you can't drop by your local cafe for lunch anymore?

There may just be a way around it.

As the doors are closing on some of our most fundamental habits - like meeting friends for lunch and grabbing coffee on the way to work - local businesses like cafes and restaurants are having to adapt, fast.

Lucinda's Pantry, in Robertson, on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands, has seen business drop through the floor in the last couple of weeks, as people being to practice social distancing, or even self-isolate.

The usually bustling Illawarra Highway runs outside their front door but the traffic is thinning and people aren't stopping off.

Read More

"It's been very, very quiet," said employee Sonja Fernando. "People are busy, trying to find groceries and get stuff done. And they don't want to linger or connect like they normally do. They're not hanging around in town."

Ms Fernando said they have started offering pre-cooked meals that people can either quickly pop in and grab, or have delivered to their homes in Robertson, Moss Vale and Bowral.

"If people are self-isolating, we can leave it at the door and you can pay over the phone, or leave an envelope out. It's safe, and it means that if you don't have your normal groceries, you can still eat a good meal."

Importantly, shifting the business to home delivery also means that the cafe can continue to employ the locals who rely on it for income.

In an economic free fall such as the current global situation, keeping people in their jobs is vital.

"We can help those vulnerable people, and they can help us keep going," said Ms Fernando. "This is making us all think a lot smaller, and small towns have an advantage in that because this is how we live."

While acquiring the usual range of ingredients has become difficult, Ms Fernando said the trick has been to keep things simple.

"Casseroles and soups in packs that people can heat up at home are what we're focusing on," said Ms Fernando. "We're being creative so we can keep people fed, and they can keep us employed."

  • If you're nearby, to order from Lucinda's Pantry call 0413 552 990.

If you're looking to stay up to date on COVID-19, sign up for our twice-daily digest here.

Comments