Hospo CheckIn: Nicky Riemer

She’s one of  the city’s favourite chefs and pivoted South Melbourne wine bar, Bellota – the venue where she is head chef – in a matter of days (or was it hours…) to create a strong takeaway and delivery option. The meals are offered through sibling-business Prince Wine Store.

We checked in with chef Nicky Riemer. 

(disclaimer: I work with PWS and Beaune & Beyond). 

1. What have you and your team done at Bellota to pivot the business during this time? 

We’re very lucky in that we’re a small businessl attached to the Prince Wine Store, so we’re preparing food for takeaway and delivery.

The Prince is helping us keep going by giving us fridge space to pack our takeaway meals and include the dishes in their wine deliveries.  

In terms of staffing, what we decided to do to keep everyone safe is to split the workforce into in two teams. Teams A&B. 

Team A works for two weeks and then has two weeks off, where Team B comes in. The beauty of  this is that if someone gets sick, we send one team home, clean thoroughly and start with other team. 

We have contactless deliveries and are taking  all appropriate measure. We are looking after each other so we can keep feeding people. 

 2. Apart from the obvious, what frustrating you at the moment? 

Honestly, I’m not that frustrated. I’m very lucky, I’ve been able to give work to my staff which is great for my own headspace, knowing that they’re working. 

3. Following on from that, how are you all going? 

We’re keeping an eye on each other. There’s lots of texting, sending bad jokes and bad memes, really bad memes! 

We’re trying to keep laughter going, asking everyone how they’re going and trying to keep everyone smiling, as much as we can. 

 

Interview: April 15