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    Portuguese restaurant in China comes back big

    Popular restaurant better than ever after lockdown

    Getting back on track fast after closing for two months, St. Louis Portuguese Restaurant in Xi`an, Shanxi province, serves Western food. Read the article to find out what the service and reception manager experienced during the time of shutdown and how he and his team managed a successful comeback.

    Taking it slowly throughout lockdown

    The place where Portuguese Style Roasted Sausage, French Style Baked Snails, Portuguese Style Baked Chicken, Australia Wagyu Sirloin Steak are usually served was at a standstill for two months. From February to March 2020, St. Louis Portuguese Restaurant in Xi`an, Shanxi province was closed due to the Government's instruction regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant with a 20-year-old history in town specialises in Western cuisine with a focus on Portuguese food. During the two-month period, the ovens remained turned off, over 90 seats remained empty, and all the staff stayed at home.

    No food sold, no turnover made. Despite the tough situation, Mr. Kevin (Liu Xiao Liang 刘小亮), service and reception manager at St. Louis Portuguese Restaurant remained positive. Chinese people have a habit of saving up money. Therefore, he could enjoy the forced break laid-back at home together with his family. Every two weeks, one of the staff visits the restaurant to check the equipment. Is the electricity still running? Are the taps still functioning? Is the dishwasher still in good condition? This was to make sure that everything is still in excellent condition.

    Getting processes and equipment all set at restart

    In April, the catering industry began to resume business. At St. Louis strict regulations to assure the most possible hygienic handling of food and dishes are put into place. Daily disinfections of surfaces and equipment are carried out before the customers arrive at the restaurant. Once they are there they are checked for health issues. Customers’ temperatures are taken and their health status is checked by a "health code". The code shows the user’s state of health: green code signals the customer is healthy and allowed to enter the premises. Access is denied when the yellow code appears because it means there is a risk with this customer and the red code means high risk of contamination.

    Hygiene and cleanliness are peoples’ top priority when visiting any food establishment these days. How does St. Louis show that they take the hygiene measures seriously? First, they must guarantee the quality and safety of all food ingredients. Second, they clean dishes with Meiko dishwasher because it guarantees the highest level of cleanliness. It has been proven that Meiko dishwasher clean and disinfect dishes ensuring them to be corona virus free. A poster on the wall next to the restaurant's entrance informs the customers about this, giving them a positive feeling on the premises.

    “Our dishes are cleaned with a Meiko dishwasher since it guarantees the highest level of cleanliness."

    Mr. Liu, St. Louis Portuguese Restaurant in Xi`an, China

    Coming back better than ever before

    In its 20-year-old history, the restaurant has never gone through such a troublesome time. During lockdown, the demand for food delivery was high. But St. Louis Portuguese Restaurant decided not to provide a delivery service because they want to guarantee the best food quality possible. They believe that it is best to serve European dishes on a proper plate nicely laid on the table at their restaurant. After missing turnover, the staff of St. Louis still look positively into the future. Many of their regular customers started to come back to the restaurant. Though they were closed during the lockdown, they were not forgotten, and are even more appreciated than ever.

    If there is a learning to remember during this pandemic, it would be having a time for everything. A time to slow down, a time to improve and a time to come back better than before. So welcome back to St. Louis Portuguese Restaurant and “Bon appetite“!