One day Beaches Restaurant had a dining room full of customers, and overnight they were forced to close their doors to the public and transform into a delivery and takeout only operation. Beaches, like many restaurants, didn’t have delivery or takeout services in place previously and had to quickly adapt to their new situation. However, the 25-year-old Vancouver, Wash., institution has been able to overcome their challenges and use the constrictions incurred by the coronavirus pandemic to make their restaurant even better.
“We’re doing a complete remodel of this restaurant. We’re a 7,000 sq. ft. restaurant. All of our tables are wood, booths are wood, so we actually created a little woodshop and we’re completely doing everything ourselves internally and then re-evolving the menu. We’re completely revamping the restaurant. We’re going to treat it as a grand reopening,” said Mark Matthias, owner of Beaches restaurant.
Although day-to-day operations have changed drastically, Matthias has been able to continue paying all of his employees and create steady team communication.
“I didn’t take anybody off the payroll which is nice. It allows me to keep them busy and do a complete remodel. Ninety-five percent of your cost is labor, so we’re just doing it ourselves. We’re trying to find the positive in it and when we come out, we’re able to change a lot of things that we probably never would have changed. The team is upbeat, even though 85 percent are stuck at home. We stay in contact every day through Facebook, through a site we setup for them,” said Matthias.
Thanks to Beaches’ loyal customers and social media following, their business has remained consistent. Matthias took a look at the Beaches menu and converted items that traveled well into their new takeout offerings. They’ve been doing individual orders, family packs and catering to essential businesses.
“We’ve [delivered to] both hospitals here in town, PeaceHealth and Legacy. A donor will call us and say, ‘Hey, I want to give you $5,000. How many meals can you do to the hospital staff?’,” said Matthias. “One particular donor has ordered, now, well over 800 meals.”
Although Beaches hadn’t offered takeout or delivery before, they were very well-versed at providing catering services with their Cam GoBoxes®.
“We’re delivering 150 rice bowls up to the hospital. We just load [the Cam GoBoxes] up and it holds them well. And transport—they’re light, they’re slick,” said Matthias. “[The Cam GoBoxes] hold heat very, very well; they hold cooling very well.”
In addition to orders from donors, Matthias said he’s also received checks from people asking him to use the money however he thinks will best help those who need it.
“I think it will continue…getting random donations,” said Matthias. “It’s a hard time for everybody, but it’s always interesting because sometimes the best in people comes out during these situations.”