Benevolence and Resiliency During Covid-19
A message from Dave Burwick, President and CEO of The Boston Beer Company
As we navigate this new normal, The Boston Beer Company remains committed to doing everything we can to support our coworkers, ensure their safety, and maintain their livelihood during these uncertain times. With new safety protocols in place, a new way of working in the world, and an opportunity to give back to our communities, together we are forging a new path forward.
For several weeks before the outbreak hit the East Coast, we closely tracked the Covid-19 situation. We quickly assigned a dedicated cross-functional COVID Crisis Team to identify and manage necessary changes to ensure our safety. Ahead of many other companies we shut down all plane and train travel, implemented a work from home policy for coworkers who could do their jobs remotely, closed our hospitality and retail locations for the safety of our coworkers and guests, and established new safety protocols at our breweries. We acted decisively to ensure our coworkers and their families stay safe, healthy and informed.
While many of us adapt to working from home, our brewery coworkers have shown great resolve in coming to work each day and participating in our increased health practices to safely produce beer and keep us in business. They are our frontline heroes and we are grateful for their commitment and resiliency during this critical time.
Crises often bring out our creativity, ingenuity and problem-solving skills. The more we can apply theses skills in the weeks ahead, the more fulfilled we will be not only as coworkers, but as human beings. We are The Boston Beer Company and together we are heavy.
As we continue to evolve new health and safety protocols and initiatives to help our communities, I wanted to provide a comprehensive summary of the steps we’ve taken to date.
WITHIN OUR BREWERIES
To ensure our coworkers are healthy when they arrive to work, we introduced health screening and temperature checks for our breweries. On March 19, we established designated checkpoints outside each brewery where temperature checks are administered by local healthcare partners.
If a coworker does not pass the health screening or has a temperature above 100oF, they are asked to return home and await further evaluation.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
We acquired surgical facemasks for our brewery coworkers – an important precaution for not just our coworkers’ health, but for their families, too. After accounting for the masks needed at our brewery locations, we committed to donating the surplus to critical care workers on the frontline. To date, we have provided more than 200,000 masks to local hospitals and health care facilities in our communities.
Social Distancing Practices
We’ve established a dedicated team to evaluate shift changes, breakrooms and furniture placements to ensure coworkers adhere to the six-feet distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC.
Increased Cleaning and Sanitation
We’ve increased our cleaning staff and proactively introduced additional cleaning and disinfection efforts to ensure our facilities maintain the highest sanitation standards. We have also established a dedicated hour of workstation cleaning at the start of every shift and are encouraging frequent cleaning throughout each shift.
Dependent Care Reimbursement
We’re committed to protect our coworkers and their families during this time. With the closure of schools and daycare facilities in March, we understood our coworkers may need to adjust their families’ schedules. Accordingly, we are reimbursing coworkers for the cost of two weeks of dependent care through the month of April and will cover up to 5 PTO days to help arrange for this care.
We knew that there were coworkers who did not feel safe traveling back-and-forth from home to work during the pandemic. To help, we secured rooms in several local hotels near our breweries for coworkers who preferred to create physical separation between family and work.
Premium Pay Increase
To recognize our brewery teams’ contributions in helping us confront this difficult situation, we introduced a “premium pay” increase for coworkers who need to work from the brewery every day to effectively do their jobs.
PTO During COVID Illness and Quarantines
We took a very cautious approach when establishing our policy for taking time-off as a result of COVID-19 symptoms or the need to quarantine. Building on CDC recommendations, if we ask someone on our team to quarantine at home, we will pay for two weeks of time off. With a doctor’s note confirming flu-like symptoms or a positive test result, we would extend the period to 4 weeks.
SUPPORT FOR OUR COMMUNITIES
Boston Beer Industry Benevolence Programs
Our business got its start in bars and restaurants and we recognize the role we can play right now in giving back. We’re proud to share several initiatives we’ve gotten off the ground in a short time to contribute more than $2,500,000 to restaurant industry employees currently out of work.
- The Boston Beer Company is a Founding Partner of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Covid-19 Relief: The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund is committed to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis by providing $500 grants to thousands of recipients. As a Founding Partner, Boston Beer is a significant donor to this national organization making a difference.
- Samuel Adams Restaurant Strong Fund: Launched on March 18 to support the industry workers of Massachusetts’ restaurants and bars, Samuel Adams launched the Restaurant Strong Fund which within days raised $500,000 from individual and corporate donations, including our own contribution of $200,000. Given the incredible response, we expanded our relationship with The Greg Hill Foundation to bring Restaurant Strong Fund to 20 states across the country and contributed $100,000 in each state to kick things off.
- Dogfish Head Makes Hand Sanitizer and Gives Back to Delaware Restaurant Industry Emergency Action Trust: Dogfish Head Distillery coworkers worked tirelessly to develop a recipe, test and secure local approval in order to begin producing Dogfish Head Scratch-Made Hand Sanitizer for the State of Delaware. The hand sanitizer is helping fulfill critical needs. In addition to a $50,000 donation from Dogfish Head’s Beer and Benevolence program, 100% of the profits of the hand sanitizer are going to the Delaware Restaurant Association’s new relief fund Restaurant Industry E.A.T.s to support workers displaced by the recent restaurant shutdowns.
- Truly Hard Seltzer’s “Your Birthday Isn’t Canceled” Campaign Supports Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and Helps Drinkers Celebrate Birthdays During Social Distancing: To help drinkers celebrate their birthday while distancing from friends and family, Truly has kicked off an initiative to give back to drinkers and the restaurant industry alike. Through a social media campaign, Truly will surprise and delight those celebrating birthdays in quarantine with gift cards for a pack of Truly while also donating $100,000 to Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to support those in the industry currently out of work. To generate additional donations to the fund, each #StayHomeAndSeltzer mention will trigger an additional $1 donated.
- Angry Orchard Supports Local Musicians and Restaurant Employee Relief Fund through the “Stay Home Sessions”: To support musicians who are currently unable to perform live while also giving back to restaurant industry employees out of work, Angry Orchard launched The Stay Home Sessions, a series of live musical performances on Instagram. Angry Orchard has donated $75,000 to Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and will contribute an additional $1 for each comment on The Stay Home Sessions posts featuring virtual applause.
- The Great American Takeout: Over the past few weeks, we’ve shown support for local bars and restaurants by ordering takeout. We’ve been inspired by our coworkers supporting local accounts and wanted to share a meal with everyone, quarantine-style. Boston Beer covered up to $35 per coworker to join in ordering takeout in hopes this meal will offer a moment to relax during this challenging time.
RESOURCES FOR OUR COWORKERS
Opportunities for Individual Development
- We’ve introduced a new program and encouraged all Boston Beer coworkers to do something for their own self-development. The “Own Our Development” initiative was created to help develop coworkers personally or professionally on any topic. To inspire all of Boston Beer to grow and develop new capabilities together, we are providing up to $200 per coworker for any class, course or certification of their choice.
- As our office and Sales teams continues to work from home, we’ve increased virtual trainings so that we improve our skills and come out of this time even stronger as a team and better at our jobs.
Retail & Hospitality
- As states continue to implement shelter at home guidelines – and bars, restaurants and tap rooms remain closed – we made the difficult decision to furlough our part-time and full-time hourly retail and hospitality coworkers until we reopen our locations. We remain focused on doing what is right for our coworkers and during the furlough period have provided access to financial advice to help them take full advantage of benefits available through the federal government as a result of the CARES Act.
- During the furlough period, some of our hourly hospitality coworkers have also been able to take advantage of temporary roles we offered on our production team in our Pennsylvania brewery, and at our Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE to help with hand sanitizer production, packaging support and more. We’re grateful for our coworkers’ flexibility and willingness to help as our brewery teams welcome the extra support during this time.
- While our local tap rooms and hospitality locations remain closed, we’re using our social media channels to feature local restaurants, bars and breweries currently offering takeout and to-go beer sales to help support our local communities.