Spring 2021 at The Parlour
As more COVID-related restrictions are being lifted and many businesses are reopening, we want to provide an update on what’s changed with us and how we hope to move forward.
How it works now
For most of 2020, we only took orders online via Square. We kept the doors locked so you could order on the web and call upon arriving for pickup. This past February, we hired some Scoopers and set up an order/payment station in our doorway. The warm weather means we’re too busy to take both online and in-person order, so you need to order in person at the door. Additionally, we still are not providing indoor seating, ordering, or restroom use.
The ordering process (it’s easy!)
- Put on your mask and come to the main door at 117 Market St.
- Check out the menu board and place your order at the ordering table
- Pay with a credit card (including Apple Pay and other contactless methods)
- Give us your name
- Move down to the second door (just north of the main one) and wait for us to call your name!
Some stuff that’s different
First, you may notice some changes in service.
- We’re not offering samples right now
- If you ask for a scoop on a cone, we still serve it in a cup with a cone on top. We’ll try to scoop in a way that makes it easier for you to turn it over and actually eat from the cone, but we can’t necessarily promise it’ll work!
- We are trying not to use cash! If you don’t have a credit card or contactless payment, we may not be able to ring you up without exact change.
We’ve all learned that brief hand contact is not a big risk for COVID-19 transmission, so you may be wondering if the above changes are necessary. They’re actually mostly a matter of efficiency. Our physical layout puts the Scoopers and cash drawer far from the customers. Since we only have 2–4 people working at a time, we have to reduce the walking where we can! We’ll think about ways to improve this, but you may have to wait until we’re fully reopened before requesting samples, getting cones without bowls, and paying in cash.
We’ve also simplified our menu:
- We only have 2 scoop sizes: Single and Double (currently approximately 4 oz and 8 oz)
- We’re only selling pre-packed pints
- We now make shakes from soft serve with select add-ins, so we have different flavor lists for shakes vs scoops
Some of these menu changes will likely become permanent, even as we increase our staffing and hours and get to full reopening (we are considering bringing back a Triple scoop option fairly soon).
We’re still trying to keep our front of house staff small enough to avoid crowding, but we plan to bring on a few more folks soon. As we staff up in the next few weeks, we’ll start to stay open a little later and add a sixth day of service (and hopefully keep our lines moving even faster). As hours change, we’ll make announcements on social media and update the details on all the apps and maps.
We don’t know when we’ll have indoor service
COVID-19 vaccines are becoming widely available, and we know people are eager to gather inside their favorite foodservice establishments again! We look forward to inviting y’all back in, but we are not yet ready to announce a date. We can say that we probably won’t have indoor service any sooner than all official indoor mask rules and capacity restrictions are lifted. Again, this relates more to our shop layout than to the specifics of COVID-19 precautions. If we let customers in, we’d need at least one staffer dedicated to keeping an eye on occupancy, distancing, and masking at all times. Maybe this will work as we staff up more, but we can’t guarantee it.
We also might not fully reopen immediately once restrictions are lifted. In most years, we’ve had 15–20 Scoopers by the spring, with up to 7 working at once. We currently have three. We’re working on getting a manager and a few more Scoopers, so we can expand hours and serve you quicker with our current setup. But the transition to a full reopening may require us to close down for a week or two in order to hire, train, and schedule a way bigger crew.
We really appreciate everyone’s patience with us as we’ve rethought and rearranged practically every aspect of our business. Y’all’s kind words and enthusiasm has really kept us going through these challenges, and we look forward to welcoming everyone inside again when we can!