An authentic taste of Sicily, in the heart of Liverpool.
“At Carlisi, our customers are our friends and our staff are our family. We want to do everything we can to keep them safe.”
Alessio from Carlisi Bar on Dale Street recently completed the CovidSafe certification through Foursquare Group before welcoming his loyal customers back through the doors. Although they were able to offer a takeaway service during lockdown, Alessio was keen to welcome his friends and family back into his bar, which celebrates its second birthday at the end of this month.
“We opened Carlisi in 2018 with the dream of bringing authentic Italian food, drinks and service to the people of Liverpool. We import a lot of our products directly from suppliers around Italy and we’re proud of our heritage. We were very aware of the virus and the impact it was having across Europe. Before measures were announced in the UK, we were already hearing stories from family and friends who were under strict lockdown in Italy. It quickly became obvious that we were going to have to close the bar if the same measures were introduced in the UK. It was heart-breaking to think that we wouldn’t be able to continue growing our business during what would traditionally have been the busiest months of the year.”
Alessio knew that changes would need to be made in order to keep their customers and staff safe in light of Covid-19.
“I heard about Foursquare Group’s “Pay What You Can” certification from some of my hospitality friends. Just by offering that, I knew that they understood the struggle we were all facing. It was more than 3 months since we’d welcomed our customers into our bar, and that obviously impacted our bottom line.”
Alessio and his team completed their risk assessment and implemented safety measures around the bar before their reopening in July. Signage was added reminding people to keep their distance, a one-way system was introduced, and extra cleaning was added to each shift. They also changed their website so that customers could access all their menus online.
“We’ve reduced the number of covers in the bar to allow for distancing measures, but we’ve found that we have more bookings now as people look for reassurance that they will have a seat”.
Carlisi have been taking part in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme which has also increased footfall during the early part of the week.
One particular aspect of distancing has been the most challenging for Alessio and his team – their warm Italian welcome often consists of giving their customers a hug or a high five, but in light of Covid they’ve had to change their greeting style. “It’s been hard for us not to say hello with a hug, but we know it’s only for a short time in order to keep us all safe and well!”
The safety and wellbeing of his customers and his team remain a top priority for Alessio, who continues to implement regular safety audits.
As he says, “It’s my family name above the door, so it has to be right”.