Here’s the third Q&A I’ve done with local business owners, Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ, about small business and COVID-19. The first was with Brian Terrizzi from ETTO and Giornata Wines and the second was with Maggie Cameron from The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar.
The secondary aspect of COVID-19 is our economy, which is in a nose dive that we have NOT seen the worst of yet. It is imperative that we support the small, local businesses that we love if we want to see them in existence on the other side. If you are still financially able to, please get out there and support these folks…they are people, like you and I sharing their passions with us and trying to feed their own families. Thanks to Kathleen for doing this.
Matt: We are living in some crazy times with this coronavirus/ COVID-19 thing. How are you hanging in there personally?
Kathleen: We try to stay positive. We are taking more vitamins, drinking more water, and staying healthy both mentally and physically; it’s very important to Jeff and I. However, it has also been stressful. We are working longer days and we are doing what we can for our staff and community to adjust to the daily changes the best we can.
Matt: How has your businesses been hit by these recent issues?
Kathleen: Our business, like most, has been hit by the Covid-19 health crisis. But, we are thankful to be open! We have adapted to becoming strictly a to-go restaurant and signed up with DoorDash as well as GrubHub to provide delivery to our guests and online ordering on our website () for those who would like to order from us directly and pick-up their orders. We’ve had to reduce our staff and I miss them and the energy of our busy courtyard the most.
Matt: What are you doing to try and mitigate the impact?
Kathleen: Jeff and I teamed up with Matt at MCV Cellars to have the restaurant cleaned with his McClain Ozone Sanitizing machine once a week (normally used in wineries) on top of our normal cleaning. We encourage wearing masks to the staff and community and have purchased hand sanitizer from our friends at Krobar. Small businesses, like ours, helping other small business in any way that we can.
Kathleen: Yes, we have still been able to offer our full menu to-go and have introduced daily family dinner specials, including full racks of ribs and trays of Paella that feed a family of four and added our wine list to our DoorDash, Grubhub, and online ordering platforms at a 40% discount.
Matt: Do you have a message to your regular customers or to customers in general?
Kathleen: We’ve had tremendous support from locals who have shared their take-out photos on social media, written reviews, and purchased gift cards. So, THANK YOU! Thank you for showing up and supporting, however you are able.
Matt: Any advice to other small business owners?
Kathleen: Hang in there, stay busy in whatever way you are able, try and stick to a routine, and embrace this new normal for however long it may last. Utilize social media as a way to communicate to your community. It has worked well for us!
Matt: Anything else you want to bring up and discuss?
Kathleen: As some of you know, Jeff and I LOVE our date nights! Though we are not able to dress up and dine out like we used to, we have been having date nights IN and supporting our local businesses at the same time. Now, more than ever, it’s important to do what you can to support each other. We love our local restaurants and want to do our part to encourage their success. If your income has been affected and going out isn’t feasible, taking the time to review your favorite restaurants on Yelp, Google, and Facebook mean so much to the owners, and it’s free!