When local foodie Suzanne Braks took over the running of both the Bombay and Papakura Autobahn restaurants on April 1st earlier this year, she could never have foreseen the snowball of events that a global pandemic would have on the business over the next month or two. Managing the businesses for many years, she took over to a business that was essentially unable to trade under a level 4 lockdown that went on until April 27.
It was devastating, as a café that relied heavily on the passing through trade of visitors, international tourists, locals travelling through the region, that all just stopped. Even going through the different stages of lockdown back up to where we are now, I had to very quickly adapt and reinvent the business just to survive.”
For Suzanne and the team, that included investing in the development of a fully functional online ordering system, developing different menu items across all of the café’s already popular categories and inventing some more!
The food has always been great value at Autobahn Cafe and now that you can get that same great value, taste and variety takeout, the clientele from the local area has identified that Autobahn Cafe is a great place to catch up with family, friends and business associates at any time during the week or weekend.
Whether it is picking up a coffee and a donut, ordering the “BIG Monster Breakfast”, Roast Lamb Brioche Bun, Smashed Avocado sprinkled with Feta and Tomato, or devouring something from the delicious range of desserts, there is something for everyone for every occasion.
It is not an accident that the food on Autobahn Café revamped takeaway and dine in menu is well crafted and tastes delicious. Suzanne started work as a chef at the Bombay Autobahn Cafe one year after it opened in 1994. Completing a Chef / Management course at AUT (Auckland University of Technology) Suzanne has now amassed over 30 years in the industry and still loves coming to work every day!
“I’ve grown up here and love the area and its people. Providing locals and visitors to our area with good quality food, at a good price and the sort of food that they want to eat is a passion of mine and the great team that I have working with me.”
Always one with lots of ideas, Suzanne says in some ways the Covid pandemic has had a silver lining for the business as it has forced her to put some of her great ideas into action sooner rather than later and that has meant that the locals in the community are the ones that have benefited.
“I’ve always had lots of ideas of things I wanted to do in the business and putting them into places now means there is always something different and exciting to try here. Everyone can
use our café as a meeting point, a community hub if you like, a place where you can come and meet up, enjoy a great quality, tasty, value for money meal, laugh over a morning coffee, sympathise over a BIG hearty breakfast and put the world to rights over cake & delicious donuts, and my golly, we go through a LOT of these.”
“Providing locals and visitors to our area with good quality food, at a good price and the sort of food that they want to eat is a passion of mine and the great team that I have working with me.”