Chamas, Beverley

July 2020

John and Mirage/Chamas Owner Ali

The challenge

Popular restaurant Chamas, in Beverley’s Wednesday Market, needed a strategy for reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Chamas team were facing a challenge to become COVID-secure due to the rodizio-style dining experience, which includes an open, self-service salad buffet, as well as different cuts of meat being presented to diners, table-by-table. Head Chef John Naylor naturally didn’t wish to lose any of the restaurant’s ‘wow factor’ and ambiance that customers valued so highly, but needed to ensure he was abiding by the guidelines and keeping everyone safe.

The solution

We advised John to do a COVID-secure risk assessment and identify what issues needed addressing, then bounced around ideas to formulate a system that would work.

We recommended new equipment and processes, to give Chamas staff and customers that important extra protection. One of those things was to introduce individually sanitised cutlery envelopes to eradicate any risk of cross-contamination and a higher grade of hand sanitiser, that is guaranteed to wipe out any COVID germs. Tables were also moved to ensure maximum social distancing, and waiting staff would wear visors.

John did some blue sky thinking and we worked as a critical friend, sense checking his plans. He needed to somehow make the amazing salad bar foods accessible to customers and initially thought a carousel could be the answer, but when we looked further into that we advised it wouldn’t meet the necessary hygiene standards.

When restaurant owner Ali Tekce had a flash of inspiration and suggested treating it as a silver service waiter option instead, with the provision of antipasti sharing plates for each table, we were delighted to research and source the appropriate and attractive containers for they would need to implement this.

As well as the practical steps, we also provided additional training for the Chamas team to make sure they know what they need to be doing and feel confident and positive.

The results

John and his team have always taken good hygiene very seriously, and have had rigorous processes in place from the outset, but he says our input helped them re-open with an additional air of confidence and positivity.

John said: “Janette put an incredible amount of work into finding the right solution for us and, as always, nothing is too much trouble and the Elliott’s team will stop at nothing to achieve the right outcomes.

“It was a bit of a minefield when it was first announced that we could look at re-opening, and we weren’t clear what we had to do and didn’t have to do, but Elliott’s helped us navigate our way through that and select a number of options that suited our business. As a result, we’ve been able to re-open with absolute confidence and our customers have welcomed the efforts they can see we’re making to protect them.

“As a result, our team are very, very happy to be back and footfall has been higher than we expected.”

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