We turned into a walk-up window cafe

Open double-doors reveals a white counter and glass partition as a person is served coffee from a barista.
Our just-installed walk-up window at our Shattuck Avenue Berkeley cafe.
A young woman behind a cash register is holding up a cup for a woman to see.
Annie helping a customer back before we’d ever heard of COVID-19

What we did.

The front of the cafe with a wire-shelf cart and a large white board on top with pastry, the point of sale, etc. on top.
Our Union Street SF walk-up window cafe
a hand is shown, half of it behind what looks like a pane of glass.
A stack of papers next to a cash register. There is a sign that reads “wrap finger in a wax paper to use touchscreen.”
The ‘finger condoms.’
  • No more self-service anything. Baristas hand the customers (being careful not to touch hands) lids, stir sticks, straws, and will dispense condiment milk to the customer’s desired amount (just say when!).
  • If we are taking cash or touching cash (for countout, etc.), baristas are wearing disposable nitrile gloves. Nitrile was the best for lack of allergens (some have latex allergies or sensitivities) and no powder. Because the tip jar is in the window, if a customer tips cash, the baristas will move the cash into another container next to the cash drawer so it’s not sitting out attracting unwanted attention.
  • No personal cups. This was the first measure that most cafes took. Some customers don’t wash their cups when they bring them to us, so the only way to be safe regarding them was to stop accepting them.
  • Our Square register at our Berkeley cafe is the older Square Stand, and the touchscreen flips around for signatures and tipping. To minimize contact there, we got touchscreen styluses for the baristas to use so they don’t have to touch the screen.
  • We restricted access to our bathrooms. Though bathroom access is important to keep open, it was deemed too much of a risk for our baristas to have to share a bathroom with customers, as well as have to clean up after customers there.
  • We developed stringent cleaning protocols for our various customer-facing surfaces.




Hey I’m Your Korean Dad! • proud immigrant • he/him • co-founder Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

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Nicholas Cho

Nicholas Cho

Hey I’m Your Korean Dad! • proud immigrant • he/him • co-founder Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

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