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

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“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 ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“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!”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

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