Dieter's putting bread back on the table
The sweet smell of freshly baked bread is once again coming out from Dieter Hildt’s cafe in Kangqiao Town in the Pudong New Area.
The German had expected business to be poor because of the epidemic. But he reopened the doors of his Baker Haus as soon as he was granted a permit.
“All our 14 employees have returned to work,” Hildt said. “Most of my customers are foreigners working and living here. At present, many of them are still in their home countries, which impacts my business to some extent.”
His staff wear masks and measure their temperatures twice a day, while the cafe is thoroughly disinfected also twice a day.
Local urban management officials gave him a thumbs-up during a routine inspection.
“I saw the prevention plans and notice. I’ve taken it really seriously,” Hildt said. He showed the officials how he had prepared for his reopening and his equipment that included masks, gloves, disinfectant and forehead thermometers.
He has printed promotional leaflets in Chinese and English encouraging takeaway food by offering discounts.
One urban management official told him he’d done a “really good job.” They left him with some tips on how other shop owners reassured customers about the health of their employees.
Hildt, who has lived in Shanghai for more than 10 years, appreciates the efforts of his community during the anti-virus campaign.
“When the outbreak had just started, the neighborhood committee workers, property managers and volunteers speaking foreign languages visited door to door,” Hildt said. “At the entrance to the residential complex, volunteers who can speak English are always on duty, and prevention plans in several languages are posted.”
He said his neighborhood was helping residents buy commodities. “Community workers are easygoing and friendly, and they take their jobs seriously. It gives us foreigners a warm feeling and let’s us know that we are being cared for.”
Currently, more than half the stores in Kangqiao have reopened, with owners required to implement strict disinfection rules and report the health conditions of their employees to authorities every day.