Hygiene course paves way for Albany’s hospitality

Daryna ZadvirnaAlbany Advertiser
Cosi’s Cafe manager Kevin Lazar and staff Ffion Holland and Luke Babington.
Camera IconCosi’s Cafe manager Kevin Lazar and staff Ffion Holland and Luke Babington. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

The launch of a Statewide COVID-19 hospitality hygiene program has set the course for the reopening of local cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Last week, the State Government announced the $1.8 million mandatory hygiene training would prepare the hospitality industry for the return of business.

While some local business owners think the course sets a good standard across the industry, others say the money could have been better spent.

The Australian Hotels Association Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 Hygiene Course will need to be successfully completed by every staff member — with businesses strictly only able to reopen when the requirements are met.

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Venice Pizza Bar and Restaurant is one Albany business which has managed to adapt and remain open for takeaway throughout the pandemic.

Having recently completed the course, owner Guy Lembo said while he understood its purpose, the $1.8 million could have been put to better use.

“I think that maybe that money could’ve been spent helping some of the businesses that are closed, that have no cash flow,” he said.

“I just don’t think (those businesses) were waiting to be told they have to do a course before they can open again.”

Mr Lembo said community support had been overwhelming, but he was still waiting on State Gvernment help to lighten the burden.

Cosi’s Cafe manager Kevin Lazar said the program would streamline industry standards once the restrictions were further relaxed. “It’s going to put everyone on the same page,” he said.

Mr Lazar said he had completed the course and his staff would be following him this week, anticipating the industry’s dine-in revival in the next two to three weeks.

The course is two-tiered, with all staff required to complete the first component, and managers and supervisors required to complete a more advanced aspect.

Every venue will need one staff member with the advanced accreditation on shift at all times, as the dedicated hygiene officer.

Businesses will also have to display signage that the venue is compliant with all conditions.

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