12 Mar Our COVID-19 Response
UPDATED MARCH 16
We have been following the developments of the COVID-19 crisis with growing concern. We’ve seen how it has impacted the lives and economies of China, Italy, Spain, and the rest of the E.U., and are now witnessing a rapid acceleration of those diagnosed here in the United States. It has become catastrophically apparent that it will be up to the private sector to bear the brunt of the responsibility if we’re to stop this. This will come at a steep price to our entire economy, both national and local.
In the wake of this, we wanted to inform all of you of a very difficult decision we have made here at Lowlands Group. Out of a sense of deep responsibility for the health and safety of our staff, our guests and the entire community, we decided to close all of our restaurants for dine-in service as of 8p.m. this evening. They will all be open tomorrow at 11a.m., offering lunch and dinner menus for carryout and delivery only. All Café Hollander locations now offer online ordering and delivery, with Café Benelux, and Centraal Grand Café & Tappery offering online ordering & delivery starting tomorrow. All locations—including Buckatabon Tavern & Supper Club—offer carryout ordering via phone as well, so if you’re hunkered down and have a hankering, you know who to call.
It’s our belief that the most responsible thing we can do to protect everyone in the community is to close our dining rooms to guests temporarily. This decision severely impacts our staff financially, but we felt ultimately that we could not risk the transmission of this virus to a single member of our staff, or our community. In other words, we couldn’t ethically remain open if that meant the possibility of a single person contracting COVID-19 in one of our public spaces. This pandemic will not slow down unless every business, organization and individual takes drastic measures to stem it.
Our goal is to retain as many of our staff members as possible as we transition to this new normal for our business. All employees not working will be paid above minimum wage for the remainder of the days they had been scheduled this week, and those eligible will also be supplemented by unemployment insurance.
As a restaurant group, our favorite part of each day is opening our doors to our guests. We never could foresee that closing them would be the best thing we could do for them one day. We’re committed to reopening once the danger of transmission passes and are exploring enhanced ordering options—such as curbside delivery—in the coming days & weeks.
In the meantime, stay healthy, take care of each other, wash your hands, and we hope to see you soon. Thanks for your continued support.
ORIGINALLY POSTED MARCH 12
Hello Friends and Guests,
Here at the Lowlands Group, our goal is to provide the most welcoming, “Gezellig” dining experiences in our cafés and restaurants. At the core of that is the health and safety of our guests, staff and the communities we serve. We’re proud of our long track record of safety, which is the result of continually upholding top industry cleanliness and sanitation practices.
We are taking the current COVID-19 situation very seriously. In fact, we are meeting with our entire management teams at all of our locations daily to share the latest information from local, state and national health organizations, as well as hearing their concerns and ideas on how to face this challenge together. With their input, as well as guidance from health experts, we are updating our operating procedures daily to ensure that everyone in the community is safe in our restaurants.
Precautionary procedures we are currently implementing:
- Supplying hand sanitizer & tissues for guest use
- Clearing all tables of communal items such as salt and pepper shakers and flower vases, making them easier to thoroughly disinfect after every guest
- Phasing out all shared condiments in the next week including salt & pepper, ketchup, etc., and offering prepackaged or single-use items as a replacement
- We have ordered “hands-free” foot openers for all restroom doors and will be installing them as soon as they arrive
- Sanitizing menus and chairs after every single use
- Sanitizing all high-use surfaces hourly including but not limited to doorknobs, bathroom surfaces including changing tables, point-of-sale screens, railings, bar surfaces, etc.
- Implementing heightened sanitation and hand-washing procedures for all employees
- Discouraging all personal contact within our restaurants, including shaking hands
- Increasing flexibility of staff scheduling, including resetting paid sick days for the remainder of the year for those who need it
- A daily conference call with all of our managers to both update them with the latest information and receive input on how to continually improve our operating procedures and policies
What we encourage staff, guests and surrounding community to:
- Wash, rinse, repeat: Wash your hands frequently, thoroughly, using a disposable paper towel to dry
- Resist the urge: Avoid touching ones’ eyes, nose and mouth
- Keep a wide berth: Avoid close contact with people who are known to be sick
- Protect others: Stay home when you are sick or have a family member sick with symptoms consistent with COVID-19
- Keep coughs covered: Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze, washing hands immediately afterwards
- Dine in comfort: If just you don’t feel comfortable dining in, know that we offer carryout at all locations, and delivery at select Café Hollander locations. Delivery via DoorDash will be offered at all of our locations very soon!
Thank you for continued trust in the Lowlands Group. Your safety is our number one priority and we’re confident in the safety of our restaurants. We plan on operating as normal during this uncertain time and believe that extra precautions like the ones we’re implementing will help protect the health of our entire community.
It is our greatest hope and desire that this situation is temporary for all of us, and that our staff, our guests and our community remains healthy and largely unaffected by this outbreak. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to update our response to COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks. You can learn about our latest efforts by visiting this web page.