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Paper versus apps : How are restaurants and cafés in Bonn and the region dealing with contact registration?

Paper versus apps : How are restaurants and cafés in Bonn and the region dealing with contact registration?

Incidence level 1 came into effect in Bonn on Sunday. This has attracted many people to the city’s cafés and restaurants. A survey of restaurateurs in the city and the region reveals surprising results when it comes to the selected method of contact tracing.

Further restrictions were lifted in Bonn on Sunday. Restaurant owners, who are now allowed to reopen their indoor areas, were happy about reaching incidence level 1. However, on the sunny and warm day, people in the city centre preferred to go to the outdoor terraces of cafés and restaurants. This was also the case near the Stadthaus, at Café Spitz, Makiman or Hans im Glück on Friedensplatz, where business this Sunday was almost reminiscent of a summer before the pandemic.

However, even with the current manageable level of infections, all visitors must be traceable in the event of a Corona outbreak. Opinions amongst the restaurant owners in Bonn differ widely as to which method is best. In addition to the classic address list, there are now a variety of digital options for recording contacts, such as the Luca app or the Corona-Warn-App. "We record contacts via Luca, and our guests are very happy with it," says waitress Heidi Denker from the Bavarian restaurant Salvator near Poststraße.

Guests are reticent

The Sudhaus restaurant on Friedensplatz is also familiar with the app, but guests only use it occasionally, says waiter Hans-Dieter Vossen. "We usually have a slip of paper with name, address and phone number which guests can fill in, and we then add the start and end time of their stay," says Voßen. The classic pen and paper method is still the favoured choice for other restaurateurs, even though there are now alternatives.

"Here we use an address list that has to be filled out by the guests," says Fadil Kedik, who runs the oriental restaurant Meyman on Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz. The restaurant owner is not familiar with the Luca app, and so far no guest has asked for a digital option for contact registration. "The public order office was here once during the pandemic, but not because of the contact list, but because of our patio area, which we were supposed to close from midnight at that time," says Kedik.

QR codes on the tables at the Eiscafé

Establishments without an outdoor area rely on indoor operations if they want to offer more than just food to take away. Therefore fast-food restaurant Asia New Wok on Wenzelgasse furnished its interior to be corona-compliant months ago. Contact registration at the Asian snack bar is mostly digital, says chef and waiter Bui Nguyen. "Our customers prefer the Luca app. But if someone doesn't have the app, they can also note down their details in a list."

Contact registration should be as convenient as possible for visitors, says Daniel Othman who works at the Dolce Vita ice cream parlour on the square in front of the town hall. "We have stuck QR codes on every table, which can be easily scanned with an iPhone camera or smartphone app. Then you can enter your data on your phone." Around half of customers prefer to use the Luca app, says Othman. "But we also have many older guests who don't have a smartphone or cannot manage to use the apps for contact registration. That's why we also have a list that people can fill in."

Luca App less popular in the region

Bad news for the Luca app in the region: A random sample showed that restaurateurs generally rely on paper. Angela Gilbert from Gilbert's in Bad Honnef does not work with the Luca app, but instead uses classic paper records for tracking. "We have an older crowd," she says by way of explanation, "who already got used to it last year." When asked about occupancy rates, her reaction is not exactly euphoric: "We notice that people are going out more now, but the amount of visitors fluctuates a lot". Compared to pre-Corona times, the restaurant is 40 per cent full.

New registration app in Siegburg

The Sinnfony in Remagen only reopened on Friday and has no plans to use the Luca app, preferring to use paper records and is looking with anticipation at the developments over the next few days. Wait and see is the motto. Tuscolo in Siegburg is currently trying out a new registration app to replace the paper forms. The Luca app is not linked to the health department, they say. In any case, Susanna Heuteroth is looking forward to welcoming many guests: "It's going very well, just like before Corona." The pizzeria is buzzing. "We have the most beautiful terrace on the Rhine with a heavenly view of the Siebengebirge," answers Ursula Zozin when asked about the occupancy rate at the Bellevuechen in Rolandseck opposite the Arp Museum. The outdoor area in particular is very well frequented. The Luca app doesn't stand a chance with the Bellevuechen boss either. Here, too, data is recorded in the traditional way.

(Original text: Abir Kassis and Thomas Kliemann, Translation: Caroline Kusch)