July 10, 2020
This Ride Ain't Over Yet
Hi to all our Guests and Friends
As you all know by now, San Benito County is regressing in it's re-opening plans due to rising infection rates. The order for restaurants to eliminate indoor dining starting tomorrow is supposed to last for 3 weeks. My prediction is it will be longer, perhaps much longer. I imagine we will be stuck in this mode for at least 5-6 weeks. And that's presuming things don't get worse, which I sincerely hope they don't. For everyone's sake, not just this business.
The restaurant business is a volume game. It takes a certain amount of customers just to open the doors. Running a restaurant and serving our guests and friends is in our soul, and we don't know what we would do otherwise, so we'll keep doing whatever we can to stay open.
Starting tomorrow, that means strictly outside dining. Guests may only enter the restaurant to get take-out or use the restrooms. We plan on putting as many tables outside as we can, starting next weekend. We'll try to make it as nice as we can. Tomorrow and Sunday, we will have VERY limited capacity though. And because this is a numbers game, we can only afford to be open on the busiest of days, so for the near future, we will only be open Friday to Sunday, lunch and dinner. I know we just added Mondays and Thursdays to our schedule, but that now has to go away. Whether this works or not will depend entirely on how many people are willing to eat out of doors in the middle of a hot summer in a windy city during a pandemic. I got my fingers and toes crossed, folks. Takeout and delivery, for the time being, will also be limited to those days.
If you are comfortable dining outdoors in a public restaurant - and only if you are comfortable - we would love to see you, anytime the mood strikes you for a good burger or pizza and a pint of draft, or maybe a cocktail. My fondest hope is that everyone begins to take mitigation measures seriously, if not for their own sakes, then for the sake of our economy, our local businesses, and all the people of this community who have too much to lose should the virus enter their families.
So here's wishing all of you, and ourselves, good luck. Stay safe, friends.
May 20, 2020
Compliance with California Phase 2 Re-Opening Guidelines
To All Our Dear Guests;
The past 2+ months has been tough for all of you. Same for us. But we have been so wonderfully blessed with the support of our customers. Some folks have been tremendously generous, especially.
Since the governor granted San Benito County permission to move deeper into Phase 2 of the state re-opening plan, everyone is asking us if we are going to re-open for dine-in guests. We've spent the past week trying to find an answer to that question. The reason it isn't a simple one, is that the guidance issued by the state is complex with a lot of small- and a few large-impact requirements. Bottom line, re-opening and staying in compliance with those orders requires us to spend money upfront on various signs, pieces of equipment, barriers, etc., along with additional operating expenses like specialized training, hiring cleaning companies to disinfect the restaurant, and committing to ongoing higher staff and supplies expenses, all while reducing our capacity to generate revenue during the busy periods which traditionally provide our best operating margins.
That said, we have also debated seriously whether returning to dine-in business warranted asking all our employees to leave the safety of their homes and come back to work. So far, we've been operating take-out and delivery with staff that were eager to work anyway. But not all our staff feels the same way.
In the end, we have decided to go ahead and re-open on a limited 3 days a week basis, at least initially. Depending how it goes, we may slowly expand beyond that. In addition to using a limited number of our indoor tables in the dining room and bar area (but not the bar itself), we hope to offer seating in our small front parking lot. We don't know if the daily Hollister gale winds will make this bearable, but we're going to try. This would let us get our capacity back up to about 75% of normal. You may know that San Benito Street is being closed on weekends for outdoor dining, but that area stops short of coming down to our block. So we'll be in the parking lot, and we ask guests to use the large parking lot by Intero instead.
Additionally, we'll be closely following all the state guidelines for dine-in restaurants, including disinfecting between each party, maintaining distances, hourly disinfecting of common touch surfaces, masks and gloves everywhere, and many more detailed steps. There will be changes in how you guests are greeted and seated, to include asking you to "check in" on your cell phones when you arrive in the parking lot, and waiting until we notify you that your table is ready before entering the building. We are asking all our patrons, regardless of political beliefs, to abide by face mask and distancing guidelines as a matter of social consideration if not as a matter of health and protection. Some of you may be angered by these new rules, we're all annoyed by them, but some people are genuinely concerned for their own and their loved ones' health, and they are entitled to feel that way. As I write this, 96,000 Americans have died in about 82 days from this disease. That is serious stuff, even if the local impact, here in our very little burg, has been pretty small.
So given all that, if you'd like to come join us, we'll welcome you with (virtual) open arms, and big smiles under the masks. The experience will be a little different and will take a bit of getting used to. But dining out and socializing within our family and close friend groups is an important social activity, and we want to make that possible in what is, for some people at least, their favorite restaurant in town. If you don't want to come in, because it'll be "weird" or because you hate all the restrictions, we understand and respect your decision.
However, if you are worried about coming in for health reasons, just know that we will be doing everything we can do within reason to make your visit and your meal safe and enjoyable.
And the food will be as delicious as ever. Watch our social feeds for specifics on our first opening days. Meanwhile, our take-out and delivery business (including draft beer and cocktails) remains available to you 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
Take care, stay safe, stay happy,
March 13, 2020
To All Our Dear Guests;
With the outbreak of the coronavirus, suddenly we find our community in the grips of worry. Running Rooster and its employees share this worry, for our families and for our town perhaps more than for ourselves. FIRST AND FOREMOST, we will immediately obey any and all health directives put out by local authorities.
While risk in our community remains thankfully low for the moment, we want you to understand what we are doing to help keep customers and ourselves safe:
Restaurants fight germs constantly, it’s in our DNA. We’re good at it. Sanitizing surfaces and tableware, and following a whole stack of rules about food safety is a habit for us, so every employee has already had the training to fight it. However, Running Rooster is stepping this up even more. We are adding staff to help us clean more often and sanitize every surface multiple times per hour. If you want us to re-sanitize anything in your area, don’t hesitate to ask.
We have placed hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the restaurant, including in the dining room, and we will put up more in the days to come. Help yourself, that’s why we put them there. (Please don’t steal them though).
If you have any symptoms of respiratory illness, please stay home until you are well. Hopefully, everyone has already heard this advice from the news and CDC, but it bears repeating. Our employees adhere to this rule, even before the virus. I understand that some people (including me) have allergy-related coughs and runny noses (good ol’ Hollister), but we ask that you take precautions if you feel ill.
We encourage any of our customers in a high-risk group to please consider staying home until this is over. We understand you have to live your life, but we absolutely hate the thought that coming to our restaurant could possibly put you at any sort of heightened risk.
Don’t forget that we do have take-out as an option, and ordering is easy at our website: www.runningrooster.com.
Effective immediately we have stopped serving Corona beer. Kidding! (Thank you for reading this far.)We’re all in this together, and working together, Hollister will stay strong.