March 10, 2020

No sampling, no reusable mugs, no Food Dev, lots of hand washing


I feel scared people I love might get sick. I feel scared I might get sick. I feel scared I don’t know how to get Clover through this Covid-19 outbreak. I’m taking more deep breaths than usual.

You might be feeling some of these same things. Well, maybe not the last one about Clover’s future. But I think many of us are facing waves of fear right now. I hope it’s OK for me to admit mine out loud. This is a crazy thing we’re all facing. But we are all facing it together. And I feel like those moments you feel the most scared are the moments it’s most important to try to be careful and thoughtful and kind.

I’m responsible for a lot of people. We have 400 or so employees at Clover. And many many more customers. I have to turn away from my fears and focus on actions we can take. We’re trying to be as smart as we can about everything.

To start, restaurant employees are probably second to hospital employees in knowledge about sanitary operations. If you want to know how to wash your hands properly ask somebody working in a restaurant. We’re experts at hand washing. We’ve been singing “Happy Birthday 2 times” for years. We don’t work when sick. We know how to sanitize. We know when and how to wear hairnets, gloves, and not to wear jewelry when we’re working with food. Those practices have been part of our business since day 1. Not just at Clover, but most restaurants.

Additionally we’ve been thinking about things we can do that might reduce risk and we’ve made the following changes in light of the COVID outbreak:

We’re going to temporarily stop giving out samples outside our restaurants. This was a fun thing Stacia was leading up and I hope we get back to it soon.

We’re following Starbucks’ lead and temporarily suspending use of customer-brought cups.

Chris is cancelling Food Dev for next week. We’ll let you know when it’s back up and running.

We’re moving to virtual meetings wherever we can.

We’ve cancelled or postponed other events that bring people together in person (thank you breakfast, cooking classes).

Every employee is revisiting training on sanitation procedures.

We are emphasizing the App as a great option for “social distancing.” We also have delivery now (delivered by DoorDash or Caviar).

Our sales are strong right now. And I hope it stays that way. We love feeding you all. Healthy eating might be second to sleep in keeping your immune system strong. We’re going to keep adapting where we see opportunities.

Meanwhile we are cranking away at the core of what we do: making vegetables dream-worthy. The Rainbow Carrot Sandwich launches tomorrow. We’re planning some fun stuff around that for April. I’m thankful that we built clean restaurants you can see into.


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