Coffee (and everything else) to go in the Capital

27 April 2020

With the announcement that some food businesses can operate under Alert Level 3, Wellington City Council’s Public Health team has been working with owners of food trucks, cafes, restaurants, and coffee carts to get these operations up and running in accordance with the new guidelines.

Image of yum char meal to promote hospitality industry moving to Covid-19 Alert Level 3

Food businesses can operate under Alert Level 3 as long as they deliver or offer pre-arranged collection of goods bought online or by phone.

This means they must have correct processes in place for pick-ups for customers and delivery services to collect items, their physical environment allows for sufficient physical distancing by customers, and there are no purchases from pedestrian-only customers.

The Government announcement last Monday meant a shift from essential businesses only, to safe businesses being able to operate – and that’s something Council’s Manager of Public Health, Helen Jones, wants to make sure is the case for everyone’s sake.

“We have developed information that addresses any queries or concerns the businesses or the public may have regarding food safety, compliance, and licensing regulations – and we encourage everyone to view these on our website or contact us if they have any further questions.

“We know these businesses are working hard and collaboratively to make sure everything is ready to go tomorrow, but if our inspectors observe any non-compliance they can report them as with any Covid-19 breaches. The health and safety of our people and the capital is our priority.”

There are 1800 hospitality businesses in Wellington, and we estimate around 30% of those will be operating in some capacity in the coming weeks, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“Our Public Health team is contacting traders and answering questions, and providing them with advice on food safety obligations and licensing regulations, and will be monitoring the situation to ensure compliance.

"We have been supporting this much affected industry in other ways too, including a rates relief package and creating a way to offer partial refunds to the hospitality industry – which they will be able to apply for this week.

“We’re also proud supporters of the team behind Wellington on a Plate, who are launching a new online food directory tomorrow. ‘At Yours’ is a one-stop shop for Wellington food businesses providing takeaways, ready-meals, meal-kits, and beverages via contactless delivery or click and collect during Alert Levels 3 and 2.

“Heaps of amazing eateries have already signed up, and WellingtonNZ has committed $250,000 to support our businesses even further, with each one able to claim $10 per delivery they make, up to a total of $500 per business. It’s a wonderful scheme – and one we know the capital is craving for!”