Some of Te Puke's restaurants have had a slow start to business under alert level 2, but familiar faces are returning.

Jellicoe St Bar and Eatery manager Bishal Jung Basnet says the requirements under level 2 - groups of no more than 10, keeping records for contact tracing, only one person serving each table and a two hour limit - are all going well.

''We were all right the first week, but the second week was a bit slower - people seem to be slow to come out of their homes,'' he says.

Each entrance has a QR Code reader for collecting contact tracing information or people can fill in a form.


''It depends on them - we've just given them a choice and asked them to read the rules.''

The restaurant offered a takeaway meal service during alert level 3, but regulars are now returning to dine in.

''We haven't seen some of our regular customers for a while - some of them we have, but others - we are missing them.''

Bishal says much of the restaurant's business comes from locals which has made things easier than it is for those that depend on tourists and visitors.

''Hopefully it will pick up. They have been supporting us, but lots of locals are suffering.''

Indian Roots owner Sean Wahla says the restaurant did quite well when it could only operate on a click and collect takeaway basis under alert level 3, but things haven't picked up much since it fully reopened.

''Not for the dine in - takeaways are doing all right - but dine in-wise, people are coming in less. They are still in safety mode, so most people are having takeaways.''

Even now, some people are collecting their takeaway at the door rather than going into the restaurant.


Sean says one of the reasons business is slow could be the lack of tourists.

"In February and March last year, we did a bit of marketing and lots of tourists were coming. This year, we couldn't do that and also there are fewer tourists this year.

''I think most people are sticking with their routine - we've not even seen all our regulars yet - some have come in, but not all of them.''

The restaurant has a large back room which has made it easy to space out tables, and Sean has installed a QR Code reader.

He says patrons have been understanding about the requirements.

''I think it will be better as soon as level 1 kicks in and I'm quite hopeful it will be a good time and then we can do proper marketing and look forward to mid-winter and late winter to attract some of those people.''