If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Any high-profile guest complaint is a concern for restaurants, even though many of them are unfounded. In this case, a star NCAA basketball player ate with the rest of his team at a restaurant and was the only person to get sick with GI symptoms. Their party ordered 13 of that dish, and no one else got ill, making the calamari a very unlikely suspect. You should have a standard follow-up process that you use for all guest complaints regardless of who alleges illness. In most cases, guests just want to feel heard, so make sure the highest level manager is fielding any direct calls from upset customers and following up quickly to make them feel that you care about the situation without ever accepting blame. But you should also be sure to alert your PR and Comms team in high-profile situations and arm them with good info…like how many plates of calamari were served to the team, or the kicker - that they ordered 8 more for delivery before the final game!
A temporary requirement that states keep people on Medicaid during the coronavirus pandemic will end, and as a result, 15 million Americans may lose Medicaid coverage. As of this past weekend, states can start removing people who no longer qualify. If you provide private insurance for your employees, it’s less likely to directly affect you, but it may lead to employees adding family members to their plan. If you have part-time or hourly employees that don’t get insurance through your company, this may lead to more of them being uninsured. In terms of impact on your day-to-day operations, that can mean sick employees staying out longer because they can’t afford to seek medical treatment or get a doctor’s note clearing them to work.
We’ll start with the good news - you don’t need to exclude employees who have seasonal allergies, which is a good thing since a quarter of US adults have them. Allergies aren’t contagious, but it can be a fine line in terms of public perception with customer-facing or food prep roles when someone is sneezing or has an uncontrollable runny nose. Good ventilation and air filtration (which also help prevent the spread of COVID and other respiratory viruses) can help reduce symptoms at work. Some employers offer over-the-counter allergy meds for free in their first aid kits, which can help since they can be expensive (you should check your company policy on this).
Marburg virus is a close relative of Ebola, both originating in bats. It’s concerning because it can have up to a 90% fatality rate. Currently, Marburg is spreading from person to person in two separate outbreaks in Africa, which continues an upward trend over the past few years. A Tanzania outbreak is under control, but one in Equatorial Guinea is still spreading. While there are no signs pointing to an imminent worldwide pandemic, the increase in localized outbreaks and the reality of globalization means that there’s more risk with every outbreak. Climate change and deforestation are putting people into more contact with bats, increasing the chances of outbreaks. Scientists are working on a promising vaccine trial that they want to test during outbreaks, so we might have a viable vaccine before larger epidemics break out. Right now, there’s no major risk of an outbreak in the US, though the larger picture means it’s a good idea to work on a future pandemic plan, even if it feels like we’re barely done with COVID.