Pop-Up Bar & Covid-19

The Velopresso POP-UP BAR: getting your business ready for socially distanced trading

As cafés, and coffee shops begin to re-open (time of writing June 2020) offering takeaway services with the new socially distanced trading protocols in place, we’re introducing our new Pop-Up Bar to help food and retail businesses get back to work.

Watch a short animated explainer of the Pop-Up Bar here.

While others hunkered down, baked bread and Zoomed in, we’ve been working flat out to get this super-flexible indoor / outdoor coffee / beer / hot and cold beverage mobile bar ready for orders at the end of lockdown.

Strong, compact, lightweight and mobile, the Pop-Up Bar features pro-catering-standard equipment, including everything you need for:

Coffee: suitable for single or twin group coffee machines and grinders of your choice; built-in plumbing kits, knock-box, and milk jug rinser; insulated coolbox drawers for milk; and on-board tanks for fresh water and waste; for mains electric or off-grid use.

Hot and cold beverages: premium-quality, insulated, stainless-steel tap towers with taps capable of dispensing cold or hot beverages; plumbed-in drip trays; space for multiple 19 litre AEB Cornelius kegs; air manifolds for dispensing under pressure; hosing & stainless connects; and the ultimate thermal insulated jackets to maintain serving temperature without electricity or ice.

The Pop-Up Bar also offers a wrap-around fully customisable branding panels and optional umbrella (for sunny or rainy days), that gives exceptional brand visibility wherever you set up shop. With its compact size and lightweight structure, you can easily load the Pop-Up Bar into a Zip van for transport as it comes complete with braked castors and a transit kit, of straps and built-in brackets for loading and securing it.

Throw in wipe-clean stainless steel surfaces and independent operation and we believe it will help all kinds of businesses get back to doing what they love – serving great coffee and other beverages (while keeping to social distancing guidelines).

Is it safe to re-open my business?

When, and how, will it be safe to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s a big question – and we don’t claim to have all the answers here. We’ve focused on UK Government guidance, but the principles are the same wherever you are (scroll down for links to international businesses using our Velopresso coffee trike to trade during lockdown). In fact we think every business will decide in their own way how to adapt to work safely – talking with their staff, suppliers and customers, and considering their location and footfall.

In the UK, it looks like businesses that hold licences to have tables and chairs at the front of their premises will be allowed to set up market-style stalls instead, as part of a bid to begin reviving high streets, and that’s where the Pop-Up Bar comes in. It will enable you to move your hot and cold drinks outside while maintaining food hygiene standards and ensuring customer safety.

So we think the Pop-Up Bar can help cafes and coffee shops get back to doing what they do best. Yes, it feels challenging, but together we have to take on the responsibility of getting back to making and serving great coffee and other favourite beverages, while keeping our staff and customers safe, just as several Velopresso trike owners around the world have been doing in recent weeks: Look at Rob’s Roast Coffee in the USA, Smiling Barista in Belgium and The Milk & Coffee in Spain, who’ve all been trading through lockdown on our trikes* while observing the new protocols in their region.

*Interesting fact: the Pop-Up Bar shares a lot of design DNA and engineering with Velopresso trike.

Is this the right solution for you? To get the full picture of what the Pop-up Bar offers for your business, please refer to our detailed Specification and Price List PDFs, but please also reach out to us directly with any queries: we’re already working on expanding the capabilities of the bar with additional modular solutions, so get in touch with us at contact@velopresso.cc and let us know what you need.

What are the lockdown regulations?

They’re being updated continually, in a ‘phased approach’ to ending the COVID-19 lockdown. For up-to-date UK guidance about which businesses can open, visit the gov.uk website. There are also useful articles in the Guardian and the Telegraph that explain how the Government is changing rules to encourage a ‘more vibrant style of continental town centres in the summer’.

Street markets selling food and drink outside are already allowed to trade because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower, and restaurants and cafes have been offering takeaways throughout lockdown after the Government relaxed planning laws for these businesses.

Employees from some industries, including manufacturing and food, are now being ‘actively encouraged’ to return to the workplace in England, where new safety procedures have been put in place.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants based on ‘sit-in / table service’ face more of a challenge, which is why the Government’s saying they’ll stay closed until at least 4 July, if progress in tackling the infection allows. They say that these businesses and areas should reopen as soon as possible ‘when the scientific advice provided allows us to’, but that their settings provide particular difficulties with distancing and hygiene.

How can I serve coffee safely for my staff and customers?

There’s very thorough Government guidance here, including 7 points to minimise risk to kitchen and front-of-house workers, and limiting access to your premises. (NCASS also provides a lot of support on this topic on their Corona virus hub page):

Move your customer service point to the front of your shop, or – even better – outside where the risk of transmission is lower (the Government says new ‘permitted development’ rights in England may allow changes of use – so check with your local council if you’re not sure whether you’re allowed to use the space you’re thinking of, e.g. the pavement outside your premises).

Be a model for best practice: use your brand to encourage people to behave responsibly. Make regular announcements to remind customers to social distance and clean their hands regularly.

Make sure staff wear gloves and a mask at all times, and wipe the stainless steel work surface between each customer.

Order and use our recommended portable hot water hand wash units with the Pop-Up Bar, for regular handwashing when distanced from your indoor wash facilities.

Mark out the ground with 2m distances to make sure people social distance when lining up, ordering their drinks, and consuming them.

Take payment using contactless POS equipment, e.g. iZettle, Square, etc.

Don’t allow customers to handle food packaging, including wrapped food, individual portions of sugar, salt, pepper, etc.

Don’t let customers bring their own cups (we know this hurts the green activist in all of us, but you can’t risk transmission through an infected cup).

Provide bins and empty them regularly.