OUR RESPONSIBILITIES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The Skinny: Paid Sick Leave Support Fund + Online Ordering
By now your feeds, inboxes, and life is getting surged with information and responses to Coronavirus – from school closures to event cancellations. At the back of many a small business owner’s mind is – how will this effect my shop? I wanted to send a message to share some actions we are taking in an abundance of caution and to ensure the appropriate response to the pandemic supports public health while keeping our business strong as we enter what is usually our busiest season. Many pundits have pointed out that in a country with no guaranteed healthcare, and an industry – food service – with no paid sick leave, that it’s possible this can exacerbate problems. I know these concerns well. We offer limited health benefits (along with a living wage) to our team because the margins in our industry don’t provide sustainable resources to do more. Here are the three ways we are responding to the Coronavirus/COVID19 pandemic and ways you can help us:
SANITATION PRACTICES A friendly reminder that restaurants in Somersworth are strictly regulated by New Hampshire’s Food Sanitation department, with which we are fully compliant. We are well stocked on gloves, sanitizer, and have strict food handling protocols and frequent cleaning regiments – as do all restaurants in our state. You should feel very comfortable in any food service establishment in New Hampshire.
PAID SICK LEAVE: Restaurants almost never offer paid sick leave, and they cannot. Margins for restaurants are so slim that many make 0-2% profit while many others close for lack of capital. At the same time it is a business that depends on folks ‘on their feet’ during open hours. I won’t get into the sad state of affairs of main street restaurant economics, but I completely understand why paid leave is prohibitive for businesses like ours. That said, the current and growing pandemic calls for a different kind of response. Effective immediately, we are establishing a limited paid sick leave policy for any employee that work more than 20 hours a week. All of our staff at Teatotaller are part of Teatotaller’s success because of their work ethic and judgement, and they know to use an abundance of caution if they feel unwell or believe they may have come in contact with someone who does. This new policy removes any shadow of a doubt: if you are concerned about your health or the health of others, you should not come to work. Concerns about upcoming bills and paying rent should not enter into that calculation. To pay for this program, we have set up a PAID SICK LEAVE FUND. We are using this program to build the funds in case employees need to take time off. If no paid leave is necessary, these funds will go to support our team in other ways, as well as to subsidize our free, all-ages, queer-inclusive programming (did you know Teatotaller has the largest teen drag show in America twice a month?)
TEATOTALLER COMES TO YOU: With our current and new policies and practices in place, we feel confident that Teatotaller is and will continue to be a low-risk space for you to gather, meet friends, get work done, or treat yourself to some delicious bubble tea, filling meals, or sweet homemade pastries. If you are immunocompromised, considered high-risk, feeling unwell, or have traveled to spaces or events that are considered higher risk, we want to remind you that Teatotaller DELIVERS! We have accounts with GrubHub AND DoorDash that includes our entire menu. Please consider using these options to continue to treat yourself, support our restaurant, and focus on self-care! Finally, as we are all making adjustments and moving many of our activities online, please make sure to keep Teatotaller in your digital presence – follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, bookmark our website and online menu, share how you feel about us on Yelp and Google Reviews.