Café Yumm! began reopening this month for takeout and delivery. The company closed 19 restaurants in late March as a safety precaution during the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. While most dining rooms will remain closed until further notice, all 23 locations in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are expected to be open for takeout and delivery by June 8. Café Yumm! will serve the full menu, but with careful implementation of new social distancing practices recommended by state and federal agencies.
Although considered an essential business by shelter-in-place orders issued by state officials, Café Yumm! took voluntary action to close locations in late-March. During the closures, the company monitored the developing pandemic to strategize plans for safely serving guests while protecting workers. The historic epidemic obligated the Café Yumm! leadership team to source personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees while restructuring roles and developing operational and staffing procedures that accommodate proper social distancing and sanitation practices. The new procedures are in addition to the restaurants’ longstanding compliance with ServSafe standards (the highest standards for restaurant safety in the nation).
Before making the decision to welcome guests back, Café Yumm! created new safety guidelines and worked to add online order ahead apps and third-party delivery services for contact-free ordering and payment.
The restaurants have PPE for employees, staggered schedules where possible, and have removed or closed off self-serve areas and high-touch objects. Store managers and operators have also designed queue systems to help guests maintain a 6-foot distance from one another when ordering or picking up takeout. The restructured service will ask guests to try contactless payment for takeout and delivery.
“These are unprecedented times. We felt it was important to close our restaurants temporarily as news of the pandemic’s impact unfolded here in the Pacific Northwest,” says Mark Beauchamp, president and co-founder of Café Yumm! restaurants. “Our team has been closely following the evolving guidelines while innovating how we do business and developing enhanced safety measures to once again serve our guests the nourishing food they love. Embracing change as it comes is our plan moving forward.”
Restaurants across the country are working to reimagine the dining experience as lockdown restrictions are lifted. For now, Café Yumm! anticipates a majority of guests will take advantage of delivery services such as Grubhub and DoorDash, as well as online order ahead apps for takeout. The company’s leadership team is hopeful these options will help balance the loss of dine-in service—which has amounted to a significant decline in sales and traffic for the entire restaurant industry.
All Café Yumm! locations are open for takeout and delivery, with campus restaurants near Oregon State and Portland State Universities being the last to reopen.