New Policies and Procedures
The challenges of operating a restaurant in this time of isolation is made more difficult because we have no "industry standards" for what we are going through. The only information we have received is "wash your hands and don't touch your face". For me, this is simply not enough given the gravity of the virus we are fighting. Because we prepare food for the people we love in our community, I immediately made a list of all the potential risks we have in exposing YOU to an invisible and potentially deadly virus: You can trust us now for the same reasons you have always been able to trust us, as we have been committed to your health and safety from the start. I will be working with my staff in the coming weeks to perfect our new ways of operating, in a climate which changes day to day.
#1: Our primary focus is on our staff.
Keeping our team healthy enough to prepare food for you starts with frequent communication. I have personally checked in with everyone on my staff, and continue to do so daily. We have isolated staff into three "zones": the kitchen (off limits to most), the pick and pack area (off limits to employees who interact with the public and cash), and the take-out/delivery zone (works with cash and the public). By limiting the interaction between the zones, we can preserve the integrity of the supply chain.
#2: The kitchen is the center of everything, and is the most important place we can isolate.
If our back of house staff becomes ill, this will increase the likelihood that we could ALL get sick, so it is our primary focus. As such, we do not allow ANYONE into our facility, and we allow no more than 3 people to work in the kitchen at any time. These people rarely leave the kitchen, and are under the watchful eye of Jason Gervais at all times. Hands get washed. Gloves get replaced frequently. We have issued extra uniforms to everyone and offer laundry service after all shifts to employees: we are clean going in and clean to arrive home.
#3: No In and Outs.
Deliveries coming into the Sugarloaf now arrive at the back service door, where they are unwrapped and the packaging is left outside. In this way we can eliminate the chances that our supply chain has delivered contaminated boxes and bags. We receive these shipments with gloves on, and wash all fruit and plastic wrapped items immediately in a basin just outside of the kitchen. Outside, our own delivery drivers wait and do not enter the building in between runs to bring you orders of food and other goods from the Sugarloaf.
#4 Our Drivers and their Vehicles
Your delivery driver waits outside the take out window at the Sugarloaf until orders are ready to be delivered - they do not come in and out of the facility prior to leaving, and use the staff restrooms accessible to them from the same exterior entrances we reserve for public use (see #5).
Step ONE: Less Hands On Your Order
When a delivery leaves the Sugarloaf, it is checked twice: before it leaves the kitchen and as it is being bagged. We do not allow our take out staff or delivery drivers to "double check" their orders before they leave, thus minimizing the number of times hands touch your containers. Although we encourage you to wipe down and/or remove your packages with gloves, we feel confidant that your food will leave our facility germ-fee.
Step TWO: En Route Sanitation
We provide plenty of gloves which are changed 3 times before your food arrives: once when the driver picks up your pre-packed bag, once after entering the vehicle, and again just prior to exiting the vehicle at your drop off location. In addition to gloves, our driver commits to spraying down the inside of the vehicle including door panels and steering wheel before leaving the cafe and again after leaving your order with you.
Step THREE: Arrival Instructions
Our driver is instructed to wear gloves when leaving your order on your porch, and to honk once when he/she arrives. Please do not approach your driver, and verbally work with them to maintain a distance of 6'- this is the fun part of the dance! Do not feel obligated to chat, and please do not check your order with your driver: they may not touch your items onced packed. If there is an issue with your order, please call the shop immediately: we do not accept returns, and will resolve problems in other ways.
Although gratuity is appreciated, we prefer that it is calculated at the time that you place your order and charged to your card. If you must use cash to tip, please prepare cash ahead of time and place in a ziplock baggie for your driver.
We discussed the option of renting outdoor "Pot-a-Potties"- but after years of attending Burning Man, I was absolutely not available for this option. I visualized myself sanitizing them, and couldn't see myself offering it as an option to a child or a senior who needed to wash up or pee after being in the car. I opted instead to allow customers to have access to our normal washrooms in the rear of the Cafe. In order to prepare for this, we used Medical Grade Plastic Sheeting to section off our restrooms so that visitors cannot come into contact with our staff working inside. I installed a zipper to allow staff to access a dedicated staff restroom, and we sanitize each WC twice a day with bleach. In between visits we encourage you to please use the sanitization spray (provided) to spray every surface you have touched while using the facilities, including the handles. We went ahead and labeled the places to spray, just in case people needed guidance. We then collect the spray bottle and spray IT down with sani spray.
In this way we can continue to offer clean restrooms to our visitors and staff.
#5 Personal Belongings
One of the most dramatic changes I have implemented is in the way people enter our space when they come to work. I wanted to reduce the likelihood of germs travelling home and back when our team comes to work and goes home. In order to do this, I created a changing room nearby with lockers, laundry, and a shower.
Our Staff arrives at work and immediately changes out of their street clothing into clean, fresh uniforms. They leave their street clothing, cell phones, and other personal belongings in their lockers. Cell Phones are NOT allowed in the restaurant, kitchen, or other workspaces as I find them to be potentially chock full of cross-contamination issues. When they go home at the end of their shift they may take a shower if desired (we provide soap, clean towels, etc), and put back on the clothing they arrived in. We handle the laundry for our team each night and replace their own uniforms into their lockers. In this way we can ensure that germs do not go home with them, which further protects them and their loved ones at home.
This way of operating will cost us more, and so we may not be the cheapest restaurant still open. As a consumer, you should beware of others offering "deals" in this marketplace, as you could be paying for it in other ways. We will see the costs of certain items fluctuate in the coming months as availability changes. We pledge to increase prices only when absolutely necessary, and thank you in advance for placing your trust in us.