Hartfields is due to reopen on Monday (July 6) after three months in lockdown and for the first two days will serve coffee and cake only.
Then from Wednesday a limited food menu will be introduced.
Business owner James Hartfield says he will proceed cautiously. Changes have been made to the cafe layout and new hygiene measures will be in place.
He told Uckfield News: “Set procedures will be reassessed at the end of each day to see what works and what doesn’t and adapted as we think best.”
Additional wooden and glass screens have been built within the cafe. This is something James was planning to do anyway to help with noise reduction, and to separate group tables, but the Coronavirus made the work imperative.
A new till point will be at the entrance of the café’s folding doors, so that people collecting takeaways or sitting outside will not have to come into the building at all.
Customers will be brought into the cafe only when their table is ready, and everyone coming in will order and pay at their table.
James said the number of staff was being reduced, but those unable to come back straight away would continue to be furloughed until the end of July when the rules change.
After that he didn’t know what would happen.
James added the cafe would reopen with half its usual number of tables and chairs and they intended to make the best of the situation, and hope to cover costs.
Staff temperatures would be checked in the morning before the start of shifts and all would be asked to sign in to say that if they were experienced any of the Coronavirus symptoms they wouldn’t come to work until they tested negative for Covid-19.
All staff would undergo a training procedure about social distancing, the need for constant hand washing, and stressing the importance of not touching their faces.
Each person would carry their own anti-bacterial sanitiser and would also have to go to a hand washing station to wash their hands properly every time they go back to the counter.
James said reopening on the Monday should be more relaxed than plunging straight in on Saturday. Serving only coffee and cake to start with would help everyone adjust to the new situation.
“All my staff have been off for three months. They will need time to get to grips with new systems and ensure everyone is kept safe, so it will be good to introduce food slowly.
“I am conscious it is important to get this right, not just for Hartfields but for the outcome of the pandemic.”
This week the team will be in to carry out a huge deep clean of the premises, from top to bottom, ready to start afresh on Monday when they are looking forward to welcoming customers.