When General Manager of Lumina Coffee Co. Matthew Schieffer and his team opened shop in the spring of 2019, they never imagined that the business would celebrate its first anniversary during a pandemic. However, the beautifully designed coffee shop and eatery adapted quickly to the crisis, allowing customers to exclusively using the drive through service to get their favorite menu items and offer their support. By working proactively and thinking creatively at the onset, Lumina was able to keep employees and customers safe while continuing to do business.
It’s a challenge that all restaurants have faced head on during this strange and unprecedented time, but one that Lumina has overcome.
“There was definitely a feeling of shock in the beginning,” says Schieffer. “In business you have to be ready to adapt regardless of the scenario, so for us it was all about finding a way to serve the community while doing our part to limit the spread.”
“Cleanliness has always been our top priority, so we analyzed every opportunity to be more efficient concerning sanitization. By moving everything to drive through service we were able to limit our contact with customers and developed a system that allowed us to be clean and efficient.”
Those practices began with managing all of the touch points in the facility between interactions with customers. Point of sales systems and card readers were cleaned after each use, while surfaces and kitchen equipment were cleaned constantly. During the surge of the virus, a quarantine zone within the drive through service area was created called “the box.”
“The idea with that was to keep the person operating the POS system for the drive through in the box,” says Schieffer. “So while they were inside the box they could operate freely, but anytime they left the box or a customer came through they had to sanitize everything in that area. That was just another way we tried to keep things as sanitary as possible. If anything we probably over analyzed, but I’m glad we did and so proud of our team and the way they responded.”
Following these new protocols allowed Lumina to continue to serve their customers, which in turn allowed the team members to continue working throughout the pandemic. Currently customers are still enjoying their favorite Lumina products via the drive through, but the staff looks forward opening the dining area to the public as soon as cases are steadily on the decline.
“We want to keep the best interest of the community at the forefront of our decision making,” says Schieffer. “While we have enjoyed seeing our regular dine-in customers frequent the drive-through, we are looking forward to serving them in our dining room again. One of our primary goals with this space was to make sure when customers walked through the door they could always find a place to sit and enjoy their time here. So naturally we are excited about the prospect of filling those seats again, but only when it’s clearly safe to do so.”
When that time comes, both the Lumina team and their dedicated customers will undoubtedly be happily reunited.