Brewery switches to hand sanitizer, grocery deliverer hires laid-off restaurant staff
Published Saturday, March 21, 2020 5:07PM PDT Last Updated Saturday, March 21, 2020 7:12PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- Parallel 49 Brewing's tasting room has been empty since St. Patrick's Day and like many other businesses, it's struggling.
“We’ve had to lay off kitchen staff and servers and everything like that and it’s awful, it really sucks,” said Mike Sleeman, the co-owner of the brewery.
But next week, the brewery will be adding another item to its production list – hand sanitizer.
“We decided to step in and see where we could help,” Sleeman said. “They were requesting hand sanitizer — everybody’s out of it."
The existing lab team was put to work to find the ingredients. The brewery already had ethyl alcohol, but needed to acquire glycerin and peroxide.
“Making beer is our first priority but we’re all in this together and we’re in a unique situation to help out.”
With a shortage of plastic bottles, the product will canned and used to refill pump bottles. Health Canada informed the company on Saturday that approval would be granted within 48 hours and once production starts, the first 4,000 cans will be donated to businesses and charities.
“Beyond that, we’re going to need a minute to figure it out.”
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Delivery demand soars
As people across the city heed the advice of health officials to stay home and away from restaurants, delivery services are more in demand than ever.
Grocery delivery company Spud.ca has seen such a sharp spike in business, it’s hiring. CEO Peter Van Stolk told CTV News the company is looking to hire people laid off by restaurants.
“In Vancouver, we're looking to add 100 people in the next few days. We didn't expect the capacity that we have today until 2023.”
Van Stolk says they will soon have to start prioritizing customers to make sure those who need service the most will get it.
“We’re going to put on our site a button that says if you are shut in or you are elderly, click this button and we will prioritize you, but it’s an honour system,” he said.
“That’s the only way we can do it, so we have to trust that Canadians in this time are going to step up and help our fellow Canadians.”
Restaurants themselves are having to adjust quickly, switching to take-out only and relying on technology.
In a statement, Skip the Dishes announced a rebate “that will put $1 million per week directly back in restaurants pockets.”