Having a plan and sticking to it


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Burnt Pizza What is black and lives in an Oven?

All apprentice chefs live in fear of the chef saying "what is black and lives in an oven". By the time they figure out what the chef is referring to, whatever they were cooking has blackened, usually to an inedible point. Certainly it has now gone way past the point where it should be served to a paying customer.

Unfortunately this is not always the case.

On our recent trip to Canberra, we chose to dine in a deli and wine bar in the city centre.

This was an unfortunate choice, although we didn't know this when we walked in.

The image above shows my son's pizza which in my opinion is blackened almost beyond edibility. The only reason he ate some of the pizza was that we waited in excess of 60 minutes for it to arrive and he was starving. My son is eleven and like most eleven year olds has quite simple tastes. He hates burnt food!

Customer service

When I had the temerity to complain about the pizza, the serving person simply stated that "we are an Italian restaurant, not Domino's". Which is a pity because if they were Domino's it would have been FREE [30 minute guarantee]. I might also state that both my wife's and my pizza were not burnt and actually tasted pretty good. But this just served to highlight the poor customer service.

Being COVID safe

Beyond the issue above with burnt pizza, this deli was NOT COVID safe. There was no sanitising of tables between customers, as well as no registry for the recording of guests name and phone number attending the venue, as is required, or at least none that I could see.

While they were extremely busy on the night, although below their advertised numbers, as shown on the door, they were quite clearly under-staffed and this effected everything they did.

ACT Government Cafes, Restaurants food courts and licensed venues Plan

On the ACT Govt's website, the first 3 points raised under the heading of 'What are my responsibilities' are:

Venues, including food courts, must have a COVID Safety Plan.

All venues must clearly display occupancy allowance at the entrance to each venue as well as display additional signs with area occupancy for separate individual spaces.

Venues, including food courts are required to ask all patrons for their first name and phone number and record it along with the date and time they attended the venue. Details should be securely destroyed after 28 days. Consider using the free Check In CBR app for a safe and easy way to capture these details.

Then, further down that list

Increase cleaning of high touch areas in all venues

I am certain that the lack of staff would not be an acceptable excuse for failing to comply with a Covid Safety Plan. In fact, adhering to a Covid safety plan is what is allowing many businesses to operate during this time.

Every other restaurant or cafe that we visited during our stay in Canberra was fastidious about maintaining both sanitisation standards and record keeping, which was not only great to see, but also how it should be.

Are you a restaurant or cafe owner?

Please make sure that your Covid safety plan is regimented into your staff's daily operating procedures and that everyone understands why this is important. The fines for failing to comply are high and just not worth taking a risk.

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