Keeping your restaurant and staff during the global crisis

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This thread has gone far far far sideways from the original intent. I would suggest taking deep breaths and looking for solutions rather than espousing personal points of view and "right". Offer restaurant deep cleaning hours to all staff that would wish to participate. Doing this would also make good use of the previously pulled out soap boxes that some responders jumped on.
There is still a grey area here for that as a lot of restaurants don't know if they will be allowed to stay open even for take out orders with the ban on non-essential works from leaving their homes. I know a few guys I use to work with finally saved up enough to buy the business from the boss but now they're having some difficulties. I know for my company we are putting the word out to hire as many temp jobs to try and fill our needs for the eventual drop in labor force and to try and keep some people employed. I hope other local businesses that are deemed essential will do the same.
 
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Gentlemen, if I may interrupt this with “stuff” that is happening “up north” Ie Canada.

Mandatory testing found one “corrections officer” ( jail guard) positive, that jail is bracing for the sh*t storm that will come. Suffice to say the prison hospital won’t be able to handle that kind of an outbreak.

Our indigenous leaders and chiefs have severe knots in their knickers, since most if not all, reserves suffer from overcrowding and really crappy water supply. Should a reserve become infected, our medical system can not handle this.

Locally, two seniors from the same care facility have died,, 10 days apart, and as a result all senior’s homes and care facilities are in a lockdown mode..

According to the last news, the Italians have stopped counting their dead, albeit with 14 dead doctors so far.

And yes, our government is spending their way out of this, but I’m really worried that after this, say a year from now we suffer a natural disaster, and there’s no money left to spend our way out of it.

Having run my own business for close to 20 years, I know what kind of treatment we( small businesses) got from the municipal, provincial, and federal govts., The airlines, hotels, ski resorts, and other large parts of the hospitality industry will get bailouts, the small ones will get what they’ve been getting— nothing but the back of a large hand, and the usual demand of generating and collecting 4 separate taxes for these various govts.

The franchises will behave like franchises and fob off any financial burden on the franchisees, the smaller businesses who can remain flexible and creative ( the anti-theme of franchises) AND somehow make a buck without liquor sales will survive.

It’s all very sobering...
 
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I think this pandemic will require new ways of thinking about the types of social, economic and government systems we use. All have been found lacking so far. We may need a new way forward.
 

nicko

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Wrong topic guys. This is a topic on how to keep your staff during this crisis not your political opinion. Please respect the topic. Things I am seeing here in Illinois is:

  • many restaurants have converted to take out
  • creating new menus to accommodated this.
  • Not charging first res ponders for food or providing a deep discount.
  • Feeding their staff.
  • Selling gift cards to long time customers to generate income to pay staff.

SO.... WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO KEEP YOUR STAFF. No comments bout what the government is doing WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
Might be nice to offer a free daily meal to any of your staff that you had to lay off. You know it's going to be hard to live for them without a pay check.
 
525
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Wrong topic guys. This is a topic on how to keep your staff during this crisis not your political opinion. Please respect the topic. Things I am seeing here in Illinois is:

  • many restaurants have converted to take out
  • creating new menus to accommodated this.
  • Not charging first res ponders for food or providing a deep discount.
  • Feeding their staff.
  • Selling gift cards to long time customers to generate income to pay staff.

SO.... WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO KEEP YOUR STAFF. No comments bout what the government is doing WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Again we are kinda going the opposite direction as most restaurant business and hiring a slew of temp displaced workers. We have the opposite problems being in health care, we are going to be short on staff not customer cash flow.

A lot of people have been talking about the gift card thing and a lot of locals have already been dong it but stores are actually running out of them, so not sure how long that will last.

I think what actions individual operations can or are taking will also depend if they are even allowed to be open now or in a few weeks. Best laid efforts to help your staff and community along may be a mute point, as places here are already being forced to close.
 

pete

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Once again we have people (the government) telling privately owned business what to do and what's best for them without any first hand knowledge of how it will affect things. It's easy to sign a piece of paper and tell all the bars and restaurants to close or try and survive on take out orders but in reality a large portion of workers will be laid off and many businesses will be closed forever.

I would think more people getting exposed to build antibodies would be a good thing. We can't close down the world every year for half of it because some people may die. And I do not see any of the data to support this being more deadly than the flu. You can look up official flu statistics and extrapolate potential numbers for covid-19. I know there is a lot of unknown but the simple fact that it is not killing off babies, young kids, pregnant women or 20-30's plus being admitted that an estimated 80% will self resolve just does not support the mania. Until there is evidence presented of perfectly healthy people and children without any preexisting conditions or diseases dropping dead, I will keep an objective look at this all.

All we will get from this several months from now is a lot of unemployed people, closed businesses, a recession and the nation's children behind in schooling even more and the politicians from all sides will pat themselves on the back and go back to being useless.

I would love to support small business by going out several times a week but I simply cannot afford it, as I am sure many others are in the same position. I just hope we as an industry and survive this. One reason I went into culinary was because I always thought I would have a job and thankfully I still do but I feel for all the people out there who are not as fortunate.
If you want a bit of data here's a bit for that I posted to FB the other day. Many people have been using the H1N1 outbreak of 2009 to compare this to to rationalize their beliefs that this is blown out of proportion, but it actually shows something very different. As of 3/20 there were 15,219 cases of COVID-19 and 201 deaths (yes these numbers have changed since then). The numbers usually used for the 2009 H1N1 outbreak are 60.8 million cases and 12,469. That puts the mortality rate of COVID-19 at 1.3% and the mortality rate of H1N1 at .02%. That makes COVID-19 65 times more deadly than H1N1. If COVID-19 infections reach the number of supposed H1N1 infections in 2009 that means we could, potentially have 790,000 deaths from this. Of course, because we have taken action I highly doubt that we will see 60 million cases, but if we hadn't then this could have been a real outcome considering that this virus spreads as easily as the flu.

Yes, the mortality rate will drop with more people getting tested and testing positive, but by how much? And if hospitals become overburdened with patients, how many people that would have survived with minor intervention will end up dying?

And yes, this hits home for me. I personally know someone that lost his life to COVID-19 this past week. I'm not going to say that we were friends, but he was a regular at the cafe and we spoke almost daily. He was just a few years older than me-mid 50's, he was overweight, and had a few minor issues, but he was not an "unhealthy" person. If this illness can take him out, there are a lot of other people that could be at risk, not just those high risk people that everyone talks about.

Sorry, but there is too many unknowns with this disease. So what happens when this virus rears its head again, and it will? We will be better prepared next time. By then we will know much more about it, how it works, who's at risk. Hopefully, we have a vaccine by then so we can stop its spread quickly, and may have drugs that can combat the symptoms.
 
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Pete, I'm sorry about your customer.

Here in MA, non-essential businesses are now required to close; restaurants may only offer take-out or delivery. Our bakery is allowed to continue to offer curbside pickup for now. We do desserts/cakes/cookies though; no breakfast pastries or bread. I don't know if people will order for the upcoming Passover and Easter holidays; I'm hoping that can happen but with how this virus is trending, we will be dealing with more cases and perhaps more restrictions even though we are doing our best to flatten the curve.

I watched a webinar with ChefDeb yesterday, about how food businesses can weather this crisis; she had a lot of good suggestions. More along the lines of using this time to evaluate/create/strengthen your brand/message, engage in social media, don't pivot to something you don't do well or won't continue after the crisis is over. And, we will weather this crisis; the fact is though, that some businesses won't; but rebuilding is easier than starting from nothing.

I want to keep staff working but the reality is we are going to have to cut our hours (at some point, people with limited income won't be able to afford dessert, if you're sheltering in place, you can't have a birthday party with more than just yourself/people you live with). And so they're probably going to have to go on unemployment next month.

Our wholesale clients aren't having events so until that changes, that revenue stream is gone. My business will survive; when I started 18 years ago my mentor taught me to have 3-6 months in reserve and I socked away everything we made over the holidays to create that reserve. I'm so grateful for that lesson.
 
525
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
If you want a bit of data here's a bit for that I posted to FB the other day. Many people have been using the H1N1 outbreak of 2009 to compare this to to rationalize their beliefs that this is blown out of proportion, but it actually shows something very different. As of 3/20 there were 15,219 cases of COVID-19 and 201 deaths (yes these numbers have changed since then). The numbers usually used for the 2009 H1N1 outbreak are 60.8 million cases and 12,469. That puts the mortality rate of COVID-19 at 1.3% and the mortality rate of H1N1 at .02%. That makes COVID-19 65 times more deadly than H1N1. If COVID-19 infections reach the number of supposed H1N1 infections in 2009 that means we could, potentially have 790,000 deaths from this. Of course, because we have taken action I highly doubt that we will see 60 million cases, but if we hadn't then this could have been a real outcome considering that this virus spreads as easily as the flu.

Yes, the mortality rate will drop with more people getting tested and testing positive, but by how much? And if hospitals become overburdened with patients, how many people that would have survived with minor intervention will end up dying?

And yes, this hits home for me. I personally know someone that lost his life to COVID-19 this past week. I'm not going to say that we were friends, but he was a regular at the cafe and we spoke almost daily. He was just a few years older than me-mid 50's, he was overweight, and had a few minor issues, but he was not an "unhealthy" person. If this illness can take him out, there are a lot of other people that could be at risk, not just those high risk people that everyone talks about.

Sorry, but there is too many unknowns with this disease. So what happens when this virus rears its head again, and it will? We will be better prepared next time. By then we will know much more about it, how it works, who's at risk. Hopefully, we have a vaccine by then so we can stop its spread quickly, and may have drugs that can combat the symptoms.
I know we are not supposed to keep drumming this up in this post but I think your math is a little off. We keep assuming the mortality rate based on confirmed cases and confirmed deaths. It is a little premature to go around scaring people with that 3% rate that keeps popping up when we have no idea currently the total numbers. Here in my county we had around 2000 tested, of those 60 were confirmed, of that 8 went to the hospital and of that 3 were in ICU and of that 1 died. That is just the ones that were tested and the county suspects many more have been walking around with it without knowing. It's one of those eternal dilemmas, how much is a life worth? Is a 75 year old grandmother's life worth more than the lively hood of 6 restaurant employees and their families? Who is to say, I just personally believe we eventually have to decide as a society the break away point where the financial impact of a larger percentage is the higher consideration than the mortality probabilities of a percentage of the population. Where that line is I have no idea as I have been blessed to still have income during this.
 
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Who is to say, I just personally believe we eventually have to decide as a society the break away point where the financial impact of a larger percentage is the higher consideration than the mortality probabilities of a percentage of the population. Where that line is I have no idea as I have been blessed to still have income during this.
When the break away point is decided, hope like hell that you are on the side of the break away point that you want to be.

Sorry I regressed, take to social media to share recipes and tips for making favorite dishes at home, which will help to keep the community stay connected and supportive of your establishment. Add a bonus to gift cards sold during this time. such as an extra 10-20% discount on menu items upon redemption. In addition to take out, offer meal kit preparation boxes with recipes.
 
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We are trying to stay safe at our grocery store here. We are discouraging people from coming into the store while encouraging the use of our call in and curb service.
I'm bringing up the age old story of latex gloves.
Everyone here must use them at work.
My personal feelings about their use aside, I must stand by and watch people touching everything with the gloves, and then their face or hair, then the telephone, the register.....see what I mean?
I am reading information that the only people who should wear a face mask, are those with the virus to protect those around them. Wearing a mask to protect yourself from the virus doesn't work.
My nephew in New Jersey contracted the virus and survived. He said it wasn't the sickest he'd ever been. I am glad he's okay but worry about his future health.
Stay safe all and wash those hands.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
I must stand by and watch people touching everything with the gloves, and then their face or hair, then the telephone, the register.....see what I mean?
Yes. Why bother with gloves at all? Employees need to be properly instructed on food handling and hygiene. When they understand how it's supposed to work they won't do stupid things like that. Right now all they know is that they are supposed to wear gloves.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
The first ServSafe class I went to was more years ago than I care to recall; but I remember the instructor saying "the gloves are to protect the food from YOU!"

We go through a case of gloves in about a month; there are four of us and two different sizes in use. There are some things I am militant about: washing your hands and changing your gloves. And, disposable pastry bags - the thought of the cloth ones makes me retch!
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
We were finally issued masks. Kinda the same thing with the gloves. People aren't use to wearing them all day so they are constantly touching them, adjusting them, ect. Not to mention with the shortage they have to be worn multiple times. Kinda defeats the purpose if you touch it all day with soiled hands, then reuse it, but I guess it's more of a mental thing right now.
 

pete

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Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
Yes. Why bother with gloves at all? Employees need to be properly instructed on food handling and hygiene. When they understand how it's supposed to work they won't do stupid things like that. Right now all they know is that they are supposed to wear gloves.
This whole glove thing is driving me nuts. I watch people at the store wearing not only latex or vinyl gloves but gardening gloves, work gloves, winter gloves, etc. They wear them everywhere and touch everything. They don't realize that both they and the public would be better served if they just washed their hands often and stopped using the gloves that touch everything!!!!!!
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
I guess I have to reverse what I said above about masks. Now they are saying that masks are effective. That can change again tomorrow...
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Given that the effectiveness of masks is questionable anyway. I thought that masks were being reserved for medical personnel?
While I am the food side of it I work in health care dealing with senior living care. So we're in that grey area, not a hospital but still health care.
 

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