Corona Interview Series: CBS Kitchen’s Jonathan O’Reilly
For today’s edition of the Corona Interview series we have the inspiring words of Jonathan O’Reilly owner of the popular international fast food restaurant, CBS Kitchen over in Neukölln that has been in action for the last few years. Without further delay, Eatler presents Jonathan O’Reilly.
What’s your current status at CBS Kitchen?
We adapted to the challenges of the crisis pretty quickly. Already before the official restrictions were placed on restaurants we decided that it would be impossible for customers to enter the restaurant without touching surfaces like door handles, and being in close proximity to our staff and each other. So we opened up the bay windows and set up an “Imbiss” style, zero contact service point. We now open for delivery and pickup from Wednesday to Sunday, 12:00 – 20:00.
How are you dealing with staffing?
So far we have managed to keep all of our staff employed. We are really lucky to have a great team of motivated and talented people who want to stay active throughout this, and we hope that our customers continue to support us by ordering for pickup and delivery. We will certainly keep up the same standards that they are used to from us, and we will also continue to keep the menu fresh and updated, with different weekly specials from our rotating menus.
What kind of service are you planning for the foreseeable future?
We will do this kind of service for as long as we need to, and I expect we will also learn a few things during this that will influence the way we do things afterwards too.
What are your thoughts on the sudden delivery craze?
It is an absolute necessity in order to adapt to the current situation. Also, I think it’s not a great idea to rely on the vague promise of a bailout from the state. Not everybody will get support and its probably best to leave it to those who need it most like bars, clubs and live venues.
How will this impact the future of the Berlin gastro scene?
It will unfortunately mean the closure of many businesses, which will possibly lead to a bit of a vacuum in the scene. The price of rent on vacant premises will most likely drop as supply outnumbers demand, but this might be resisted by property owners who would rather have a vacant premises for 6 months than get in a long-term contract for lower rent. One thing is for sure, big changes are coming and they will have long-lasting effects.
Have you had any issues with supply chain?
Anything that we source from a supermarket is a problem. Lidl and other discounters is a great source for some ingredients, but with stockpiling by customers a lot of things are limited to just a few items per person. There haven’t been any problems with supply from our wholesalers so far, but maybe that is something thats going to come further down the line.
Is there anything you would like to announce or share with Eatler readers?
Yes, please shop local and support the smaller businesses. There is a recession coming and the best way to fight that is to keep cash flowing through the smaller and more local businesses, rather than the big internationals who have already been stockpiling profit for years.
You can order online for contactless delivery and pickup through their website: www.crazybsauce.com/delivery