MANSFIELD -- Transitioning taprooms to carry-out or delivery overnight has been a challenge for Ohio breweries over the last few months. The Phoenix Brewing Co. is no exception.
Accommodating the needs and concerns of staff, clientele, and community, while keeping them safe and following new guidelines is an important responsibility and one that takes planning.
Returning to on-site consumption creates a new set of challenges with Ohio’s reopening, according to Carmone McFarlane, creative and marketing chair at the 131 N. Diamond St. business.
Many of those challenges were already addressed over the last two months by the Phoenix, who pivoted their business model from on-site/distribution to carry-out/curbside and home delivery, including hourly sanitizing procedures of touchpoints and common areas, hand sanitizer stations, and special sanitation procedures for common items such as pens.
Additional changes include modified seating to accommodate social distancing between parties and traffic paths for social distancing requirements.
"Guests will be seated to allow for proper sanitation between parties and to maximize tables. Tents and patio heaters are being installed for the expected inclement weather. Indoors, ordering stations and waiting spots are clearly identified along with a carryout only station," McFarlane said.
"Patrons choosing to consume on-premise will enjoy their craft beer in disposable plastic cups. The menu has been streamlined. Staff also have distancing guidelines that must be considered when working and are required to wear a mask or face shield. As staff members feel comfortable to return, they will be trained in new sanitation procedures and health guidelines," she said.
The Phoenix will reopen with a modified schedule. Their outdoor spaces, the patio and beer garden, open Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for on-site consumption.
The following week, Phoenix will be open for carryout and curbside on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The taproom and patios will be open Thursdays through Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Customers can still get carryout and curbside when the patios and taproom are open, but are encouraged to place orders earlier in the day to reduce wait times. Carryout for vulnerable populations will be Tuesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Home delivery will be available on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The schedule will be modified as employees continue to return.
“The craft beer experience is going to be different for a while to ensure the safety of our staff and guests. It is going to take some time to get back to something that remotely looks like what everyone is used to," Macfarlane said.
“We consider ourselves fortunate to be included with restaurants in #reopeningOhio and lucky to have two outdoor seating areas. I would be lying if I said we were completely calm and collected. We are excited, maybe a little apprehensive, but hopeful. And while we are prepared, we know we will need to reevaluate and probably make some adjustments after Friday. But our guests need to know it is going to be a different experience (everywhere) for a little while," she said.
The Phoenix is asking guests who attend the reopening to please follow a few simple guidelines to ensure safety of staff and other customers.
1. Please wait to be seated. For the next few weeks, staff will be seating individuals and parties to ensure proper sanitation between groups. There are no reservations, but rather based on first come, first served.
2. Please practice social distancing when placing orders at the bar. There are four order stations available. The Phoenix is limited on how many staff members are allowed behind the bar together.
3. Please wear a mask if possible, when inside the taproom. It is in not mandatory for guests to wear a mask or facial covering, but it is appreciated that you are trying to keep our staff and other guests healthy.
4. Do not move tables or rearrange seating. Seating plans have been developed to comply with required policies. Altering their placement puts the Phoenix out of compliance.
5. Leave your pets at home. Animals are not allowed on either patio until further notice. Service animals are the exception.
6. Please remain seated and avoid standing in groups when enjoying the patio.
7. If you are sick, stay home.
8. Please be patient and kind. There is a massive amount of new information and procedures everyone must follow, learn, and navigate. For the time being, the craft beer experience is going to look and feel a bit different. This isn't the new normal quite yet. But it is coming.
“We are so thankful for our amazing craft beer community. It has been a privilege to craft our beers downtown for the last 6 years. We have been humbled by your continued support. We look forward to serving you this summer," McFarlane said.
More information can be found at www.phoenixbrewing.com