Merritt 7 takes next step in comeback - CulinArt Group

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Merritt 7 takes next step in comeback

NORWALK, CONN., July 14, 2021— The CulinArt dining services team at multi-tenant complex Merritt 7 has reopened the grill and deli stations at the location’s main café to give themselves more room to work in accommodating a slowly increasing workforce. Doing that, along with opening the seating areas, has helped build confidence among tenant associates that dining services is back in business.

Throughout the pandemic, CulinArt has operated a Starbucks coffee bar, in what is known as Building 300, featuring modified grill and deli menus offered via online ordering. Menu offerings are fresh and made-to-order, with a pre-order and contactless pickup option available.

In recent weeks building management has eased tenant/employee access restrictions, removed mask requirements for the vaccinated (though CulinArt employees do wear masks), and removed social distancing signage—moves that allow customers to visit the café area more comfortably. Now, customers can order online or at a Nextep kiosk at the grill station. They can also select from a variety of packaged snacks and bottled beverages, which they purchase via cashless payment at the kiosk or with cash at the coffee bar.

“Café sales have already doubled,” says District Manager Hilary Ham, since the activity at the grill and deli station conveys an impression to the slowly-growing tenant population that Café 301, as it’s known, has reopened. “Customers feel more comfortable coming to the café and are happy to have the room to move about.”

Catering volume is also picking up, she adds, though several days’ notice is needed for ordering and staffing arrangements to be made. And Café Manager Christina Feitais and Chef Manager Mike Fiorito have already staged Smoky Roads barbeque at Merritt 7, with plans to do it again next week. While the available population is a bit low for Smoky Roads’ usual requirement, “the customers were very receptive and enthusiastic,” Ham notes. “Just about all of them came down [to the Smoky Roads station] and the client was happy.”

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  • July 15, 2021
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What our clients are saying

“I just want to commend you and your staff on always providing dining options for people with food allergies/sensitivities. Not only do you provide options, but they are thoughtful and delicious. As someone who cannot consume dairy, I am always grateful and touched to have amazing meals to accommodate my dietary restrictions. THANK YOU!!! Keep up the amazing work.”

“You know that I haven't been home (India) for a long time now.  I miss my mama, I miss the food, I miss the smells, I miss the people. Starting yesterday, I started to smell my mama's kitchen at Parker.  I KNEW something Indian was brewing; I could smell the garam masala!  Thank you for the delicious tofu curry.  It made my belly and soul happy.”

“Thanks so much for a great week of food here at SCH to start off 2021. Everything has been fantastic. The kids were loving the Chinese food and boxes today. The Moo Shu Pork was amazing. Great work!”

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn’t do this without you. Chef Jay and Chef Paul have been so awesome in the Hubbell Café.  There has been significant change, but they take it in stride and keep the delicious food coming.  We truly appreciate them!”

“I can’t thank your entire team enough for the outstanding service, food, displays, everything!  You are a master at detail, and because of that Adam and I were able to focus on the parents.  I know what a sacrifice pulling off a weekend like this means, we are so appreciative and grateful to you all for your talent and generosity.”

“I have really appreciated the wonderful cafeteria staff we have via Culinart and the thoughtful meals they provide our kids. They're truly one in a million. I have also really appreciated the dedication Parker and CulinArt share to sustainability and green practices on campus. I am so thankful that Parker has chosen CulinArt, a company that shares Parker values, and that they took the time and effort at such a hard time to make sure that Parker is always on the forefront of green practices and safety - never compromising.”

“This is EXACTLY the type of service and experience we had always envisioned for our patients at MSK Koch!  Thank you Chef Ryan for going out of your way for this patient and all patients and staff!”

“Thank You! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“The roasted tofu/noodle/edamame arugula salad with cabbage, carrots and red peppers was something that I would buy from a restaurant or food truck without question. It would win best school lunch in the U.S. without a doubt if there was such a competition! The textures and flavors were a perfect blend, tied together by an excellent dressing. I don't think anyone would be mad if that popped up on the menu every week. Thanks again to you and your staff for such high-quality food!”

“I wanted to let you know that for this entire school year I have been so well fed! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE all the diversity of salad choices we have each day and the amazing entrees.  My favorites are the carnitas, chili, curry, and cajun chicken days.  I am so grateful for all the care that goes into the food because I know I do not eat enough vegetables or balanced meals without you and your crew's work.  Thank you so much!  You take such great care of us!!”

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