Cafes, restaurants call on customers to be understanding of new regulations

Be considerate: Reyhana Turkish Restaurant's Tuncay Avsar and wife Reyhan with daughter Yesha outside their popular outlet.
Be considerate: Reyhana Turkish Restaurant's Tuncay Avsar and wife Reyhan with daughter Yesha outside their popular outlet.

The vast majority of customers are complying with COVID-19 rules and regulations, say cafe and restaurant operators across the Hastings.

However, there are a handful of customers who aren't complying.

One outlet, Reyhana Turkish Restaurant, took to social media reminding customers that safety always comes first.

"Unfortunately some guests don't seem to understand the severity of the current issue and turn it into something that is not," the post said.

"As a small business it's imperative we follow all the guidelines in place by the government not only to stop the spread but to ensure the safety of our staff, family and guests."

A Classy Cafe owner Anna-Lea Poulson, said some customers were "slightly irritated" by the updated regulations.

"Generally though, people are behaving themselves," she said.

"We have a sign-in area along with a QR code while we have set our tables at the appropriate distances.

"Takeaways are picked up outside the door.

"We have also noticed that a few more people are wearing face masks but these are generally older people or those with health issues.

But some people are slightly irritated by the new rules and regulations but they do understand the reasons behind them.

Anna-Lea Poulson

"But some people are slightly irritated by the new rules and regulations but they do understand the reasons behind them."

She said 98 per cent of people were supportive of the measures they had implemented.

Sandbar Cafe, North Haven manager Lucy Gray said all customers had been respectful to each other and the new rules.

"I think they understand that it is for their safety," she said. "We are all trying to adapt to the new regulations.

"Our customers are very understanding about what we are doing and why we are doing it.

"Through the holiday season we attracted strong visitor numbers while our loyal local customers are also onboard.

"I think everyone is just really happy to get out of the house," she said.

Reyhana's Yesha Avsar praised customers for their understanding but said there were occasions when people just didn't appear to understand the gravity of COVID-19.

The popular Turkish restaurant has been forced to remove some of its indoor seating to ensure they meet regulations.

This has meant that more people are using the front counter.

"We are a small restaurant which means our front service area is used for ordering, pick-ups and bookings," she said.

"Most of our customers understand that and move appropriately around the front entrance because we don't have the room for a dedicated area for sign-ins or hand sanitising

"We have a small area to conduct our business. We just urge customers to understand that."

Ms Avsar said with regulations likely to tighten even further, there would be more instances where customers became frustrated.

But we still have to follow those new rules because, if we don't, it is only going to get worse for everyone.

Yesha Avsar

"But we still have to follow those new rules because, if we don't, it is only going to get worse for everyone," she added.

Ms Avsar praised tourists and their loyal local followers for their patience.

"We are so lucky to live here. Our locals are amazing and everyone is onboard and they understand.

"They know how hard we work. These people are really supportive.

"As a tight-knit community everyone can help each other out by just following the guidelines."

Despite a fall in revenue, Ms Avsar said the family business remained humble by the support.

She urged everyone to be kind to each other and try to understand that business needs to keep trying to make a living.

"But that is not just us, it is for every business in town," she said.

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