While hundreds of people in main centres all over Aotearoa cued to get their fast food-fix on Tuesday morning following the move into Level 3 of the COVID-19 response, Twizel restaurant and bar owner Troy Sheridan set about giving thanks to the town’s essential workers.
As a gesture of gratitude, the crew from Shawty’s Café and Restaurant were up early making coffee and morning tea for essential workers at Mackenzie Four Square and the hard-working volunteers from St John Twizel. For Troy, the lifting of the Level 4 lockdown provided an opportunity to give back to those who had been keeping the town going for the past four weeks and show how much the community appreciated their commitment to them.
“Twizel is a unique community; we have a number of people here who are just quiet achievers,” he said. “During the lockdown it became important to us that we recognised all those that were really putting themselves at risk by working in essential services, so a morning tea shout to those people seemed like the right thing to do.”
During the lockdown period, Shawty’s staff, along with staff from Troy’s other business, MOW Bar, were kept busy attending courses and webinars and working on new social media platforms. The time away from their customer-facing roles also allowed them to revamp their websites and online ordering systems in time for Level 3.
Although he was pleased to now see some restrictions lifted, Troy acknowledged the transition had been difficult asa business owner.
“Going into Level 3 was really difficult as the guidelines were being changed right up to the last minute and the requirements for health plans etcetera were, not surpris-ingly, full-on.”
Despite this, he assures customers, “We are keeping your safety as our priority with social distancing, great hygiene,and use of protective gear”.
Looking to the future, Troy emphasised the importance of shopping local and putting thought into where and how our money is spent.
“It’s really important we do keep spending, obviously within our capabilities, but that is how we will keep the economy going. To date, with government support, we have managed to keep our core staff through this process and that too is going to be super important as unemployment will reach a peak following this.
“It is fair to say that hospitality will be one of the hardest hit sectors,” he added.
Shawty's is now operating during the day with coffee and lunch/breakfast options, while MOW Bar is operating their menu in the evenings. Their takeaway and delivery menus can be found online at https://www.shawtys.co.nz/ and https://www.mowbar.co.nz/order-online.