GREAT FALLS — On Monday at 9 a.m., Morning Light Coffee Roasters in Great Falls welcomed back their dine-in customers after nearly two monthsof COVID-19 restrictions.
Operations Manager Tim Luoma said the staff chose to stay closed an additional week past Governor Bullock’s directive, in order to ensure that they were fully prepared for a safe and successful reopening.
“We wanted to make sure we were meeting all the guidelines from the health department, meeting our own guidelines, and waiting it out to see what the fallout was gonna be from places opening earlier in the week,” Luoma said, “The slow roll out is good so we can make sure that we’re not operating so frantically that we’re forgetting those guidelines we’re supposed to be operating under.”
Luoma added that a slow return would ensure that they could accommodate all of their returning customers instead of having to limit a large turnout.
“We learned to just kind of take it slow...we didn’t want to do a bunch of social media blasts and then not be able to operate under our restrictions for capacity,” Luoma said.
The Morning Light crew spent their time under drive-thru-only operation working on changes inside the building.
“We took advantage of being able to just have our drive-thru operating and get some things done around the store that needed to get done,” Luoma said.
After their drive-thru brought in a lot of traffic during their in-store closure, the crew has begun to operate according to a convenience-based business model.
“That takeout model, I think it's working really well for people. And it's working well for us too...it's been a good way to just analyze what we do as a business and how we can adapt to the new normal as it is, so i think people are really enjoying that,” Luoma said.
Some of the changes customers can expect are a revamped lunch menu, fewer tables to accommodate social distancing guidelines, and on-hand masks and sanitizer, as well as several other rules posted on the Morning Light Facebook page.
Morning Light is located at 1701 9th Avenue South; click here to visit their website.