The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the way people shop for food and drink. As takeaway stores start to reopen across the UK, companies are having to make huge changes to stores in order to make them safe for customers and staff. Costa Coffee has revealed how the experience in its restaurants has changed for its takeaway customers.
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Though coffee lovers will be delighted at the news that Costa Coffee opened 15 stores for takeaway on Friday, they may be surprised at the changes to the way their favourite drink is served.
The chain has announced that customers will find it’s doing things differently in order to follow social distancing measures.
While the drive-thru locations were easier to reopen thanks to the reduced contact involved, Costa has only just opened the stores for takeaway.
The company was previously only offering delivery services via Uber Eats.
In a statement on the website, Costa CEO Jill McDonald said: “For those customers visiting a takeaway store, they will look and feel quite different.
“These changes have been made to protect our team members and customers and we thank you in advance for your support.”
The company chief revealed that much like some UK supermarkets, the number of customers entering stores will be restricted depending on the space available.
Costa has also implemented floor signs to make sure social distancing guidelines are met at all times when customers queue in or outside the store.
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However, the new rules also mean that there are changes to the way those looking for their caffeine fix are served.
The CEO said only one customer will be allowed to the counter at a time, and that the counters have now been fitted with perspex screens to protect the staff.
What’s more, the chain is only allowing contactless payments using cards or smartphones.
Physical Coffee Club cards will not be accepted, but the Costa boss said that customers can still collect and redeem their loyalty points using the app.
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The coffee giant has also changed what customers can order, and is offering a limited menu only as it slowly reopens around the country.
Due to the contactless service, reusable cups are also not being accepted.
The CEO also advised customers not to be alarmed by the staff’s appearance.
“Team members will be wearing personal protective equipment but please know that there’s a warm smile greeting you underneath.”
The stores will have hand sanitising stations for customers to use as they enter to make the order.
Costa made the move to reopen for takeaways in a small number of stores on Friday, following three weeks of trialling their service with the new lockdown rules.
The chain has reopened 31 additional drive-thru lanes to serve the public from their cars.
The CEO wrote: “We have received some great feedback from our store team members and customers have responded well to our new ways of working. This has given us the confidence to re-open some more stores.”
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