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Protecting our people, our customers and the community


Hygiene has been the highest priority for our Grinders flagship store in Melbourne, with store manager Shannon Kiernan leading the charge in protecting his team, his customers and the community.

Shannon Kiernan

Shannon Kiernan and the Grinders Flagship Store

Hygiene has been the highest priority for our Grinders flagship store in Melbourne, with store manager Shannon Kiernan leading the charge in protecting his team, his customers and the community. To protect the physical and mental health of our teams and the surrounding community, Grinders has put in place comprehensive and robust routines in the areas of sanitisation and hygiene, as well as physical distancing restrictions, throughout all of their sites. We sat down with Shannon to talk through these changes at the Grinders Flagship store.

How did you listen and respond as the seriousness of hygiene expectations developed?

Implementing increased hygiene standards at our Grinders café came in two stages – at the start, we just had to keep doing what we were already doing, like sanitising work stations and our hands, wiping down tables and washing tea towels every day. But when phase two came in with guidance from the government, we made the implementation of social distancing rules our main priority and increased the regularity of our hygiene processes, eventually turning Grinders into a takeaway café only.

On top of expected hygienic routines, how have you gone above and beyond to protect your people and customers?

We’ve put a table in the front doorway so customers can’t come into the café any longer, and we serve them over this table. We also have markers out the front of our café for people to stand and queue in, that places 1.5 metres between them. We also stopped accepting cash and keep-cups. Keep Cups are normally a real priority for me and serving in single use cups only is not my preferred option. However, I managed to shift my focus onto what is currently the highest priority, which is the safety of our people, customers, and the community. Not using Keep Cups means one less foreign object coming into our café. Now, everything we touch is just going out of the cafe, and nothing comes in - we as baristas are in complete control of our environment.

How have these new measures you've implemented made you feel working at the Grinders Flagship Store?

I feel very safe at work because the customers are three or four metres away, and this also reassures my family, as they were concerned about me being present in the general public.

How have you ensured strong business continuity?

Our café also uses the app SKIP, where customers can order and pay for their coffee, skip the queue, and don't have to wait in a line! This is fantastic for social distancing – we used to have 5-10% of our orders come from this app, but now we are at about 20%.

We’ve got to find the little silver linings in this time – this time is a real opportunity for our little café. Many big cafes in this area couldn’t transform their space into takeaway only cafes, and they have now closed. This is a real chance for us to win some loyal customers, and keep people happy, safe, and caffeinated.

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