As part of Nation's Restaurant News' Stories from the Front Lines series, Mazen Albatarseh, CEO of 56-unit Cotton Patch Cafe, recounted heroics from the team and an unexpected moment of kindness from a guest. Here is his story.
Our team members are heroes. They care about the communities, just like family. That has been absolutely positive. It has touched the bottom of my heart.
We are a dine-in type of restaurant. [After a unit closed temporarily because of coronavirus restrictions] we had a guest that came in with an envelope in their hands and gave it to the cafe leader and said, “Please give this to the team members because we love you. And we thank you and love that you care about us.”
The cafe leader opened that envelope and it had over a thousand dollars of cash to distribute to the team members. We underestimated how much the guests cared.
We call it #LoveOneAnother. We offer it on that premise, and seeing that front and center is what COVID-19 is bringing out. We plan to double-down and triple-down on that. We want to #LoveOneAnother on both sides.
We see heroic efforts among the team members. One team member will say, “I’ll give up five hours for another team member so they both can work and both can live.”