Coffee Matters: ‘It is not the same as before’

When the coronavirus disease entered the Philippines, we were forced to live with the changes it brought. Several businesses, including the local coffee shops and restaurants we know so well, are greatly affected. When will we ever experience the great moments we share with our friends and loved ones in cafés the same way again?

Knowing the rising numbers of cases in the region, the difficulty to make everything back to the way it is before is evident, especially that there are health and safety protocols to be followed. These include social distancing, wearing of face shields, as well as face masks. It is what we know now as the new normal.

Cafés are not merely a place where people can buy food and beverages, they are more of a comfort place for students to study in and even to chill in during break time. ‘Coffee Matters’, with its perfect location, became the favorite hangout spot of the Paulinian students. The beautiful internal design and the good ambiance, urged them to be regular customers. When the pandemic stopped the students from going to school, the ‘Coffee Matters ambiance’ is what the Paulinian students miss more.

“The business was doing well because there were many customers mostly from SPSPS, and the place was fully occupied most of the time”, Jeanette Cua said about the cafe before the pandemic hit Eastern Visayas on March 23.

Mary Jeanette C. Cua and her siblings, the owners of Coffee Matters, only started their business last January 27. They decided to open a coffee shop because according to them, everyone loves coffee. When the government mandated to close restaurants and other businesses, they had to follow but they never thought of giving up their business, like most of the business owners affected. However, despite the tragic state, they remain optimistic.

“I always remind myself that despite what is happening around me, there are still a lot of things to be grateful for and God is always there to protect us”, Jeanette Cua said.

“I believe that our business will survive as long as we are able to offer quality products and services to our customers at a reasonable price”, she added.

The café resumed its operation last May, but with the new normal, some changes were implemented. Their operating hours were reduced from 10:00 A.M.-11:00 P.M. daily to 9:00 A.M.-8:00 P.M every Mondays to Saturdays only.

Having the same employees, they are able to cope up by reducing costs, having an efficient management cash flow, introducing new products, and they are now offering delivery service.

“We can accommodate only up to 30% of our usual capacity which is 15 persons at a time. We already accept dine-in with observance of health and safety protocols. We also accept orders for take-out”, Jeanette Cua said. Before, the shop was able to accommodate up to 50 persons.

No one can really tell when this pandemic will end. As long as the number of cases continue to rise, the longer we have to live in the ‘new normal’.

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