How South Shields' deli Simply 2 Delicious is welcoming back customers at a safe distance
A South Shields sandwich shop talked us through how they have adapted their businesses in light of the pandemic.
Simply 2 Delicious, has been serving sandwiches and fresh food to go in South Shields for almost two decades - but owners say it feels like they are opening up for the first time all over again.
As part of the Gazette’s #SupportLocal campaign we are calling on everyone in the borough to back local businesses and help them survive as lockdown restrictions are eased and the economy slowly starts up again.
The sandwich shop and deli on Talbot Road, welcomed back its first customers on Monday, June 8 after implementing some major changes to ensure it was safe for everyone.
Staff are now all wearing face coverings and signs outside clearly outline the new rules and guidelines.
As only three customers are allowed in the shop at anyone time now, all of their sandwiches, salad boxes and take-away items are now pre-prepared and boxed up for people to collect, in order to minimise waiting and queuing times.
Customers can also ring up to place their order and book a collection slot to avoid queues.
Arrows taped on the floor direct people to the counter and social distancing boards have been placed at two metre intervals marking where to queue while waiting to get served.
Hand sanitiser units have been installed at the door and at the counter, and people are encouraged to use contactless payment methods where possible.
Anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus themselves or who has a family member who is asked to not enter.
“We’ve been running for 18 years and it was like reopening again,” said Simply 2 Delicious owner, Steve Cairns.
“It’s a very difficult time, with so many businesses being impacted and all trying to find a way to survive.
“We have to try and reopen or we may not have a business left to come back to.
He added: “It’s an awful thing that is happening, but if this is the new normal then we have to try and find a way to come together to support each other.”