COVID-19, The Parlour, and You
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17:
After a lot of thought and consideration, we’ve decided to suspend all service (including takeout and pickup orders) for now. You can still purchase e-gift cards for use when our shop reopens.
Hi friends. We know everyone is concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina and the Triangle. We are taking this very seriously—as we believe everyone should. Here are some of the things we want you to know.
We are taking extra precautions
When we train new staff, we always stress the importance of frequent hand washing. Now our staff are sanitizing surfaces and washing their hands more often. We’re also sanitizing more surfaces, like doorknobs. Staff will wash hands or change gloves anytime there is incidental hand contact with a customer. There is a hand sanitizer station for customers right by exit door (north of the main door) and we will have a pump bottle available near the register whenever possible.
We are sometimes a crowded space
Of course, beyond extra sanitary measures, the biggest recommendation from public health experts is to avoid crowded public spaces, especially if you are sick or in a high-risk population. Because of our physical layout and ordering/service systems, it is hard for us to exert much control over crowds. We need your help with this!
What can you do?
Look, we almost never want to turn away business. But we want to defer to experts, and we think you should stay at home if
- you’re feeling at all unwell physically
- you’re in a high-risk population
- you’ve been asked to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case
Of course, even if you’re healthy and surrounded by low-risk people, the whole community is safer when public spaces are less crowded. If you do come in, you can help make that happen:
- Maintain a few feet of distance from other people
- Minimize hand contact with employees and other customers
- Enjoy your ice cream outside (at the time of this writing, the weather is lovely)
- Buy some pints (also available at Bulldega and Durham Coop Market) so you can wait longer for your next ice cream outing.
Also! If you’d like to leave a tip on a credit card purchase, ask the employee ringing you up to enter it, so there are fewer people touching the iPad.
We are prepared for a downturn
This is the time of year when business usually starts picking up for us. But we don’t want anyone to feel guilty about practicing social isolation for the sake of community safety. If you’ve made that decision, we respect and appreciate you. We will not be upset about slower sales if it helps flatten the curve.
What about our staff?
You may be justifiably concerned about service industry employees. We just came out of our slow season, so we’re not yet at peak staffing levels. We also have savings and are making plans to take care of our staff if a downturn is serious. Most employees already have some paid time off hours available. If sales take a drastic hit, we will increase PTO balances so that folks working less can choose to pad their checks. In the event that we have to temporarily close up shop, we will still be able to pay current staff for several weeks.
You can help out while avoiding crowds
Before we go, a few more tips on helping local small businesses (not just us!) weather some tough times.
- Avoid crowds by going to your favorite spots during their non-peak hours. In our case, that’s typically noon–2:00 and 5:00–6:30 on weekdays. You can use Google maps to see when other businesses are least crowded.
- To help employers, buy gift cards now—then plan on waiting several months to use them:
- Buy The Parlour eGift Cards
- See a list of other local businesses with gift cards
- To help employees directly, leave bigger tips than you normally do
Thanks for reading this! We appreciate you.
Don’t hesitate to contact us via email or social media if you have any questions. We will post updates to our site and social media if needed.