As the days stretch to weeks and the duration of this Pandemic looks to be months or even a year or more, many of us are questioning our work and life choices. Woven into these contemplations is the fear of ourselves or loved ones getting sick, panic about money to pay the bills, childcare without school or daycare, questions about the best daily procedures for life in a Pandemic, and many others. I can’t answer these questions for you, and we realize that your views may differ from ours as both a company and as an individual. In such difficult times, with no obvious answers, we can only encourage you to look in the mirror and make the best possible choice for your own personal situation.
Currently, the only reason we are not all in the unemployment line is To-Go Food. As of today, the government considers food an essential service whether it is assembled in factories for grocery stores or assembled in a commercial kitchen for take-out and delivery. Furthermore, data surrounding the spread of the Coronavirus continues to suggest that food is not a major health risk. For the Moose’s Tooth and Bear Tooth, this has been a lucky break. To-Go has always been an important part of Tooth operations so customers were already trained to consider our businesses for Pickup. Many of you have put in exceptional efforts helping us transform our spaces into safer To-Go facilities using local and state mandates and ingenuity as our guidelines. And considering the context, we have done an amazing job keeping the doors open, trying to safeguard staff and customers, sustaining a relatively high level of employment and health benefits, and providing delicious food to the community at large.
And the community feedback has been incredible: the joy of eating “real” food while hunkered down at home; the magic of making a pizza with the family and a “homeschool” kit; the miracle of a $5 growler; the positive and professional staff; a “pineapple” greeting you at the door (do you have to social distance from a piece of fruit? :-); the connection one feels to community from stopping by a beloved gathering spot, if only for a few fleeting moments; the satisfaction of supporting local business. The list goes on…
But so do the weeks. And it’s not all rosy. Many Toothers have lost their job or a substantial chunk of income. People are tired. Some of us are scared. Nobody knows for sure if we are really being safe enough (or maybe too safe?) and it’s not lost on us that we may have to close, or worse, someone could get sick. What happens then? Truthfully, there aren’t many assurances to give – these are unprecedented times. What we can tell you is that we are actively looking into many of the government programs that may help you individually and all of us collectively if situations deteriorate, if you are not working, or if you can’t work. And for those of you signed up on our health care plan, we are desperately fighting to keep it funding during this critical health emergency. In our work environment, we keep exploring and reading about safety protocol and encourage feedback about solutions for improvement. Every day, our COVID-19 response management team is debriefing at 9am over FaceTime to discuss safety and procedure. Finally, we are 100% committed to the recommendations of the state and federal government. We look to these institutions for informed expert advice on business and medical protocol during a Pandemic.
It’s our 20th Anniversary this month at the Bear Tooth (wow is that anti-climactic) and our 24th Anniversary this June at the Moose’s Tooth. The Moose and Bear are built to survive! We are committed to reopening and rehiring to the best of our ability. We are committed to you as the staff – both your safety and your job. And we hope, as a silver lining, we all come out of this closer and more resolved than ever to share our love of good food, great people, and community gathering.
Peace and Love,
Rod and Warren