Port City Java (PCJ) announced last week that as of Friday, several area locations reopened for dine-in service.
“We're so glad to safely welcome back our guests and regulars,” the company said in a statement.
While the majority of PCJ locations were able to remain open with order-ahead service and drive-thru or curbside pickup, Amber Fowler, social media and local marketing coordinator, said that the financial impact of COVID-19 has been significant.
“Once the shelter-in-place occurred, we noticed a significant change in our morning rush,” Fowler said. “Once work and school became remote, our morning rushes slowed and the customer base shifted from commuter traffic to essential workers and medical professionals.”
Fowler said the company pursued and accepted a PPP loan on the second round of funding with the help of Live Oak Bank.
PCJ has worked closely with all of its baristas, cafe managers and franchisees throughout the pandemic to help them adapt to the changing regulations and prepare for reopening, she said.
“We faced each challenge as team, which made all the difference,” Fowler said. “Communication and adaptability are key. Pair that with a positive, innovative team and you can get through anything. The whole experience has brought up a conversation about our core values and the need to recognize our team’s resilience within those values.”
The company is providing and requiring masks for all staff members and has installed shields at all registers. Gloves are required for food preparation and frequent hand washing is encouraged.
Seating has been reduced by 50%. Employees are sanitizing tables and chairs between guests, and have kept condiment bars closed at this time.
Hand sanitizer is available for guests, and floor stickers have been placed to indicate safe social distances.
Additionally, PCJ has established a barista check-in procedure prior to the start of any shift that includes a temperature check and symptom questionnaire.
“We’re extremely grateful for our talented team members as well as our guests and regulars who continuously supported us,” Fowler said.
The following locations reopened dining areas:
- 17th Street
- Barclay Commons/Independence
- Brunswick Forest
- Downtown Wilmington
- Masonboro Commons
- Monkey Junction
- Oleander Drive
- Porters Neck
- Racine Drive
Drive-thru and order-ahead services continue.
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