On Tuesday, people went into their businesses for the first time in two weeks since New Zealand went into lockdown.
And despite the thousands of dollars of waste, Wellington's Beach Babylon cafe co-owner Simon Holtham is upbeat.
He's excited about opening on Wednesday, even if it's only for takeaways that don't bring in much cash.
"A profit is not something you can target, not even attainable," he told Newshub. "Level 3 for us is about getting open again."
Wellington's food scene whirred back into life on Tuesday, with grocery and meat supply trucks back on the job.
"Level 3 is great for us to get going, as you saw supplies are coming and when level 2 hits we can go 'bang' and open straight away," said Mike Egan of the Restaurant Association.
Under the golden rules of alert level 3, businesses must be fully contactless for payment and food delivery or pick up - and there are strict safety requirements inside workplaces.
Egan said many cafes and restaurants will stay closed in level 3.
"It's about 50/50 at the moment - for a lot of them... their food isn't suitable for takeaway."
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