A Letter to Our Customers
Dear Brew Fish Customers,
As some of you may know, the Board of Health at a recent meeting raised the question of whether we were operating within Governor Baker’s mandate which reduced restaurant seating capacity to 25%. Apparently, the reasoning that we must be over the 25% capacity limit due to the large number of cars in our parking lot. We have gone to great lengths to keep both our customers and staff safe during these trying times by following all of the state and local health regulations.
Due to the pandemic we changed our table management and reservation system to Open Table. The Open Table platform is a tremendous tool. One of the great things Open Table does is maintain capacity and seating limits much like a manual clicker would do. At any given time, we know how many people are seated and we always stay within the 25% mandate. During seat limiting restrictions, we have never exceeded the stated capacity limits.
In regards to the assumption that we must be exceeding our mandated capacity limit because our parking lot appears busy; no one seems to have taken into account just how many employees we have on any given shift, takeout customers coming and going and commuters using our parking lot. Today, for example and as witnessed by a Board of Health employee, and before we had a single dining customer, we had 25 cars in the parking lot.
Given the support we have received from our amazing customers, we are certain that you understand how hard and difficult the restaurant business is, especially during this pandemic. Even with a vibrant takeout business, it is impossible to turn a profit at 25% capacity. At 25% capacity we lose money each day, week, and month. We decided to stay open during the 25% seating capacity mandate for two reasons. One, was we felt it important to stay open and maintain some type of normalcy for our customers. Second, and very important to us, we want to keep our employees working so they are less impacted financially by the pandemic and can continue to support their families.
Originally, Governor Baker’s 25% seating capacity mandate was to last 2 weeks. Then it was extended another 2 weeks, and recently was extended yet again until February 8. Given the recent extended duration of the capacity limits, and the fact that we are continuing to lose money each day with the reduced seating restrictions, we’ve made the difficult decision to close effective January 22nd and until such time as the capacity limit is allowed to increase. We are hopeful that Governor Baker will increase the 25% capacity limit on February 8. If so, we expect to reopen on Tuesday, February 9.
As members of this community, we know many of you personally. We cannot stress how much your continued support means to us. We enjoy that our restaurant is part of your lives as you come in to celebrate special occasions, or that we can provide a favorite place for you to enjoy a nice lunch or a night out with friends and family. We are hopeful that things will soon be improving as more and more people are vaccinated. We will certainly miss all of you and look forward to seeing you soon in a busy and bustling Brew Fish environment.
Todd and Erin Zell