Things certainly are different this week than they were last week. And it's certain that this week will be different from the next week, and so on. We are living in a new normal that has a lot of us confused and concerned. But with that confusion and concern, we have seen our communities come together (while remaining apart!) and we've seen compassion and camaraderie like we've never seen before. We are so vehemently looking out for the wellbeing of others, which is a wonderful, beautiful thing.
Part of looking out for others, has meant that we have watched so many of our community bars and restaurants close their doors to allow for social distancing.
With each passing day, we are working on organizing resources for our food and beverage industry friends; it is a mission of ours to be a part of the solution. And for the first part of this solution, we wanted to offer some resources from our friends and comrades in this industry on how to ensure the safety, quality, and cleanliness of your bar or restaurant while shuttering it for the time being.
A friend and industry mentor (Amanda Carto of Austin’s Nickel City) has compiled a fantastic list for all bars and restaurants to consider when closing down for an extended period of time.
“1. Get rid of all perishable produce. Give this to your staff that wasn't able to shop while they were keeping the doors open, then link up with a food shelter that will need these supplies for anything leftover.
2. Pack up your booze & double check your security! It may feel weird to do this, but take your bottles down from your back bar and place in a hiding spot. If you have large windows, definitely make sure nothing valuable is in eyesight. This is to discourage looting. Change security codes. Take any and all liability of "theft" off your staff so they're not brought to question by the police, causing more unnecessary stress on your team.
3. Empty out your beer lines. If you have a draft cocktail or beer system, run your lines and make sure nothing is left in them. Clean them out. Be prepared to do a chemical/acid clean on them before you operate again. Leaving anything in your lines is going to ruin them, and the cost to replace your lines is going to be insane if you choose not to take these steps.
4. If you are a business owner and have an accountant or accounting office, make sure your staff's information is correct and offer to help them file for unemployment, or simply just to it for them. It's the biggest load off of your employee's shoulders to not have to navigate that circus.
5. Stay calm. Don't panic. We'll get through this. Share any and all tips and tricks with your fellow bar folks so we can keep our spaces and equipment at its best so we can have an easier reopening when this is all said and done.”
Since this article was published, the Proof team sat down with these thoughts and added a few of our own:
6. Defer monthly services - from linen to trash to cable and any others your establishment might have. To double check you've deferred them all, go through a credit card statement to ensure you've checked off all of your monthly auto-drafts.
7. Review lease for deferred rent options in natural disasters.
Lastly, our friends at Cherokee Distributing (in Chattanooga) have directed our industry to another wonderful checklist (Brewers Association) to ensure you properly shut down and care for your draft systems while they are not in use. Furthermore, you can call Cherokee Distributing Company (in you're in Chattanooga) and they will clean your lines FREE OF CHARGE (something they always do, but it means so much right now).
What else are you all doing to prepare your bars and restaurants for closures? Did we leave anything out? Please let us know. We're here for you.
(For the full article, please check out : As Austin Bars Close for Now, Nickel City Shares a Guide on How to Shutter Responsibly)