HOW THE TEAM AT MOUNTAIN CLUB ON LOON IS ADAPTING AND INNOVATING IN THE FACE OF UNIMAGINABLE CHANGE
by Ethan Clark, Director of Food and Beverage at The Mountain Club on Loon
PERSEVERANCE. The definition of perseverance is; persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
The employees of the Mountain Club on Loon (including the Black Diamond Pub, and Viaggio Spa and Wellness center) have and continue to demonstrate perseverance as well as adaptation and innovation. Mid-March the hotel closed to clean, sanitize, and disinfect the whole property. Then began working getting ready to safely open for both our guest and employees with new guidelines both from the state and created in house.
The team at the Black Diamond Pub have been driven by perseverance this summer to perform at the highest quality in cleanliness, safety, and service to our guest. Since opening in late June, the BDP has gone through multiple restaurant identities (as have most of our brothers and sister in the restaurant industry). We opened up with takeout only, something we did very little of before we shutdown. Then when we were allowed to do full indoor service, we tried to go back to normal with a slightly smaller than normal menu, and to be honest it wasn’t the right move at that current moment. Between the travel restrictions, quarantining guidelines and the general feeling of unease about going to a sit-down restaurant, we were struggling to stay afloat as well as making sure our teammates were making money now that they had come off unemployment.
What were we to do? We decided to throw the book out on what is normal, and adapt to the new world and have some fun. We started running themed menus that changed weekly that included a Fair Food menu, Cajun week, Street food, BBQ. We kept the menus small and packed with creativity from input from all of our teammates. We hit social media hard highlighting and boosting posts to the local residents around the hotel to let them know that “We are here and ready to serve you”. We posted videos and went around town, the hotel, wherever we could, and let people know about our new Friday night special. An event we liked to call Smoked out Friday with Slow Smoked Prime Rib with BBQ Au Jus.
The most important thing that has helped us is our teammates' perseverance, who at the end of the day want to see the BDP successful, enjoy the time they are at work, and provide the best service possible. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty; from following the guidelines and wearing masks while working (even on the raging hot days) and making sure guests follow guidelines, to working split shifts, and working in other departments who are short-staffed at the hotel. Without the perseverance of the BDP staff this summer we would still be looking down a dark tunnel rather than glimpsing the light at the end right now.