Bobcat Bonnie’s Owner Shares Lessons for Short-Term Restaurant Closure
(Matthew Buskard, Bobcat Bonnies, March 21, 2020
Bobcat Bonnie’s has temporarily closed to protect the public from the Coronavirus, and we’ve noted some things we’d want other business owners to know.
Steps to protect yourself as you shut down:
Clear anything of value- we removed ALL cash, and liquor from the stores.
Lock any and all coolers if you can- we did, as well as locked and made sure all our doors closed correctly and alarms were set.
Buy Nest Cams! These can be found at Home Depot- they are HD, and can be set up very quickly. I love this because it gives me an alert every time theirs any real motion. We have them in every office, and pointing at every door catching a wide view of the entrances and exits.
Any staff you have navigate them to the UIA website ASAP! If you can’t give them security in hours and pay- do them a favor and allow them to get that security via UIA. While the money isn’t the same level- it’s a security for the staff member to know cash is coming in and they can plan on having it.
INVENTORY EVERYTHING. Make an excel file or even take a picture of everything you dumped, tossed, or gave away. You’ll also want to compile sales reports, invoices so you can prove cost of the items, as well as schedules so they can build a full picture of business. While most insurance companies aren’t stepping up right now and giving awful excuses as to why- you may need this down the road. It appears many legislatures are not thrilled folks are buying insurance for this exact reason and the insurance companies are attempting to weasel their way out.
Turn the thermostat down- don’t go too low but make sure it’s high enough that the pipes don’t freeze. Open all doors (bathroom, kitchen doors, etc) so that if it does get cold everywhere is getting even heat. In Corktown our bathrooms get REALLY cold- so we keep the doors open. We’ve been keeping it at 64 or so.
Anything left out- be prepared for it to be gone. If it’s of value to you- move it inside, chain it up, etc.
Any food products that aren’t shelf stable, or freeze-able, inventory, give to staff, donate or toss. You won’t want to come back to a moldy container of food.
Contact vendors- let them know if your intent is to reopen later or not. My goal is to reopen – they’d rather have the long term business then short term cash with you closing. They so far have worked with all of us.
Remind your staff to STAY HOME. If we want this to last weeks, not months, we need to take this seriously. Look at countries who have- South Korea, Taiwan and China kick in weeks because they stayed home and heeded the advice of the government. I get it we are a country of conspiracies, and don’t tell me what I can’t do, but if we check our egos for a second we can get back to life sooner than later.
Check on your staff and friends- maybe do live updates on Facebook or call or text. The now more then ever need communication and something to look forward to! We are working on checklists, order guides, etc. so when we get back we can kick butt!
We’ve set up a schedule in which a manager or myself checks on the store a couple times a during the week. Just to make sure things are good.
Good luck to everyone out there weathering this storm.
Also, we’ve got a fundraising page to bring additional support to help our employees: GoFundMe.
Bobcat Bonnie’s has locations in Ferndale, Wyandotte, and Detroit. Check them out online at www.bobcatbonnies.com.
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