July 23, 2013

Did we say Wednesday? We meant Thursday…

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[UPDATE: Our opening today is pending pre-operation inspections by each town. So far, none of these have been completed yet. So hold tight, and stay tuned for updates. Super sorry for the fits and starts, we want to get everything perfect before we let you in the door!]

This is Dave. He thinks I’m doing a good job, even if I’m feeling like a bit of a failure.

OK, here’s the deal. We said Wednesday, I know. We thought Wednesday was going to be our day. But it’s going to be Thursday. Sorry all! I mean, this is embarrassment on top of embarrassment.

The short story is that we’re waiting for employee tests to clear and do not yet have a critical mass to operate the way you trust us to operate. We’re expecting to have some more employees cleared tomorrow, which would support a Thursday open of the restaurants. Sorry trucks, you’re going to wait until we’re operating on something more than 40% staffing levels company-wide.

Here’s the longer story:

We just spent the entire day with two of the most senior inspectors in Massachusetts. As I said before, I have great respect for them. They seem to be really good at what they do, deeply experienced, and they take this all seriously. It’s just what you’d want.

Then, as of around 6:50 I got off a conference call with the State officials in charge of this investigation who are working another late night to help us through all of this and protect you all. We learned:
(a) No new cases. Whew. We’re always hoping to hear that. As of Thursday we’ll be 4 weeks without a confirmed case. That’s good news for everybody
(b) We’re approved to operate our commissary kitchen as we wait for final state issuance of a wholesale permit. This is great news and means we get to operate our kitchen again, this time under State supervision. And honestly, the limited open (due to not all locations being staffed yet) means we get to ramp up slowly and carefully. Which is good for everybody.
(c) We’re cleared to operate all of our restaurants. As I said, we don’t yet have enough employees cleared to do so, but we’re cleared to go. This is also great news.

OK, so that’s the good news. Bad news is I told you we were opening tomorrow. I thought we were. I was counting on more results from the lab than we got. Sorry. It’s our fault, we’ve overwhelmed them. They’re not used to processing volumes like these.

The other bad news is that I fielded a lot of phone calls today from press. And I told them we were planning to open tomorrow, pending employee tests, which I expected. Sorry folks. I’m bracing myself for your wrath. Sorry!!! Please forgive me.

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