A Message to Our Customers

UPDATED May 15, 2020

While there’s no industry untouched by the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 is having on the economy, hospitality is facing unique challenges. Squirrel only services the restaurant & hospitality industry, and the pain felt by our customers is our pain as well. 

We are looking at options to try and share the load with you, our partners, and the industry as a whole. We are all in this together. Our primary concern is keeping as many of our customers operational while we maintain our operational ability to support you. 

With our partners, we are waiving implementation and integration gateway fees to enable Squirrel customers who don’t have online ordering, take-out, delivery, or gift cards to get those services implemented within days with no up-front cost. We are also working with partners to move Squirrel customers to contactless payments for the most sanitary transactions in a curbside take-out and delivery model.

This is designed to help some of our most exposed customers get to a position where they can continue to generate business and service their guests. We will be rolling out additional facets over the coming days to try and provide assistance to as many of you as possible. 

Additionally, there are a variety of campaigns and programs happening at the association and community levels that can help smooth out the curve and keep the lights on. We will be updating this page frequently to try and provide you with access to these resources. If you are aware of a program that’s not listed here dedicated to helping the community, please let us know, and we’ll get it featured.

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Community & Industry Resources and Programs

Many of the National and State/Province Restaurant Associations are maintaining a resource center for their members. If you don’t see your association listed, check their website, it’s likely they have programs to assist.

National Restaurant Association (USA)

The National Restaurant Association in the United States is maintaining a resource center for the industry.

SupportRestaurants.org

SupportRestaurants.org is a grassroots program designed to help restaurants, bars, and other hospitality establishments by giving a centralized place for consumers to see what restaurants are participating via Dining Bonds. Dining Bonds are essentially gift cards sold at a suggested price of 25% less than face value, but redeemable at face value upon dining at the restaurant. The transaction takes place on between the restaurant and consumer, supportrestaurants.org is primarily an aggregator of what locations globally are participating.

BC Restaurant & Foodservice Association (BC, Canada)

The BCRFA is maintaining a resource page and partnering with Webnames.ca to offer small business members a menu page online.

BC Restaurants – the BCRFA has published a survey to try and determine the impact of this crisis to pass to Government Ministries. If you have operations in BC please try to find the time to complete this survey to identify the effect this crisis is having on all of us.


Helpful articles and resources related to Restaurants and COVID-19

There is an abundance of news and information available. We have compiled those that we find the most helpful and informative for restaurant owners and operators.

Comprehensive News and Information

Several outlets have also compiled comprehensive updates, here are the ones we have been monitoring.

Canadian Restaurant Association Relief Measures Tracker Relief measures announced to date across the country that might be relevant to your operations

Nation’s Restaurant News Restaurants Ask Consumers to Join #TheGreatAmericanTakeout Amid Coronavirus Fallout

National Restaurant Association Pivoting to Off-Premises

Nation’s Restaurant News National Restaurant Association Starts Grassroots Campaign Petitioning Lawmakers to Save Restaurants

National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Resources and Information by State

Nation’s Restaurant News National Restaurant Association Offers Guidance for States on Unit Closures and Plans for Local Economic Stimulus

Nation’s Restaurant News Financial Relief Coming to Quick-service Franchisees Hammered by Coronavirus Pandemic

Hospitality Technology Restaurant Technology Network Kicks Off COVID-19 Workgroup

Nation’s Restaurant News Domino’s Pizza Hiring 10,000 Workers to Meet Delivery Demand During Coronavirus Crisis

Bon Appetit How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Handling Coronavirus

Black Box Intelligence Coronavirus and the Restaurant Industry: What the Data Shows

Fast Casual Following COVID-19: How the Virus is Affecting the Fast Casual Industry

Eater A Comprehensive Guide to Coronavirus and the Food World

National Restaurant Association Coronavirus Information and Resources

QSR Magazine Coronavirus Updates: What Restaurants Need to Know

James Beard Foundation How the Restaurant Industry is Responding to COVID-19

Running Restaurants Restaurants & Covid-19 (free recorded webinar)Great insights from Roger Beaudoin from Restaurant Rockstars as well as questions and answers from restaurant operators.

News on Government Relief

Forbes Small Business Relief Tracker: Funding, Grants and Resources for Business Owners Grappling with Coronavirus

Restaurant Business White House Says Relief for Restaurants is in the Works

Restaurant Hospitality National Restaurant Association Sends Restaurant Industry Recover and Relief Proposal to White House

Fast Casual Will US government grant restaurants’ request for $145 billion recovery fund?

Health and Sanitation

Ensuring employees and customers are safe is a top priority among restaurants across the nation. Here are some tips on how to maintain a sanitary environment and confidence with your customers during this time.

Food & Drug Administration FDA Answers Food Safety Questions Regarding COVID-19

Nation’s Restaurant News How Should Restaurants Clean in Coronavirus Cases

AZ Central Ways to Keep Diners Safe

EPA List of disinfectants to use against COVID-19

Delivery and Creative Ideas

As the nation’s restaurants move to a takeout and delivery model, here are a few resources to assist with this new reality.

Mailchimp Free Account Mailchimp is an effective and easy to use email marketing solution that has a free offering allowing establishments to reach out to guests and promote online and takeout offerings.

Nation’s Restaurant News Restaurants Pivot to Groceries and Meal Kits

Running Restaurants 25 Tips for Getting Your Restaurant’s Takeout and Delivery Right

Restaurant Business Restaurants Adapt Menus to COVID-19

Eater Grubhub Announces It Will Delay Collecting Fees as Restaurants Deal With COVID-19

Nation’s Restaurant News DoorDash announces relief measures for restaurants

FSR Magazine Why a Takeout-and-Delivery-Only Model Could Save Your Restaurant

Eater Fine Dining Restaurants Are Pivoting to Takeout and Delivery

Monetary and Community Support

A number of outlets have put together lists of resources to help restaurants and small businesses financially.

Nation’s Restaurant News Financial Relief Coming to Quick-service Franchisees Hammered by Coronavirus Pandemic

Eater List of Relief Funds for Coronavirus-Affected Restaurants, Bars, and Food Service Workers

Food and Wine As Coronavirus Shutters Restaurants Across the Country, a Swell of Support for Workers Rises Up

Small Business Administration Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by (COVID-19)

Financial Relief for Restaurant Employees

Eater New York List of Local Relief Funds for NYC Restaurant Workers

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United National and City/State Resources Available to Restaurant Workers

Los Angeles Magazine People Are Pitching in to Help L.A.’s Independent Restaurants and Their Workers


A Message from Squirrel President, Jason Leeson

UPDATED March 17, 2020

Squirrel’s commitment to supporting our customers during the COVID-19 crisis

At Squirrel, we believe that restaurants are part of our social fabric. With the recent uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and the emphasis on social distancing, we know this is having a significant impact on your business and your community. I want to share with you some recommendations and steps we are taking to support you and your business during this challenging time.

Health and Safety

We care about the health and safety of your employees and guests. The following guidelines should be used to sanitize Squirrel terminals, kitchen display systems, and printers:

  1. Ensure the equipment is turned OFF before using liquids on or around it. If the Power Supply Adapter is also being cleaned, ensure it is unplugged from the electrical outlet.
  2. Do not use any kind of chemical solvent, acidic, or alkali solution when cleaning. Neutral detergent or isopropyl alcohol is suggested to clean surfaces.
  3. Do not ever spray, as from a dispenser, directly onto any glass surface or any outer surface. Do not immerse the product in liquid. Instead, dispense the solution onto a cloth, or use a pretreated wipe product.
  4. Wipe surfaces or dab for textured surfaces. Do not rub or scrub with force onto surfaces; this should not be required to clean or sanitize. Painted, screened, or labeled surfaces will be scratched or discolored, tarnished, by forceful rubbing.

Stopping the Spread

Based on the guidance of global, federal, and local health authorities, we have imposed a temporary ban on all non-essential travel and have implemented a work from home policy for all of our employees. Our Corporate Headquarters remains open for those employees that perform critical work required to maintain operations and are not able to work from home.

Our Service Coordinators have been reaching out to any customers with on-site installs or training scheduled over the next few weeks to discuss rescheduling if necessary.

Supporting our Customers

Squirrel has over 40 strategic storage locations across the United States, and we will continue to leverage our Service Provider Partners across the globe to provide on-site support services to our customers where possible. Our Partners are also taking appropriate measures to ensure they can meet service demands while still looking after the safety and health of their employees.

The 24/7 Squirrel Solution Center based in Burnaby, BC remains fully operational and can support all our customers as normal. Some team members are working from home; however, we do not expect this to impact our service levels. We have protocols in place should the situation escalate and require more drastic measures, such as closing of the office.

We encourage all Squirrel EasyCare subscribers to utilize the self-service options available online.

We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions from the WHO, CDC, Health Canada, and local health authorities for any further changes, and will advise you promptly of any potential impact to our support services.

Squirrel focuses exclusively on serving the technology needs of restaurant and hospitality businesses. We are committed to doing our best to continue providing the level of service our customers expect from us. We are all in this together.

Please reach out directly to our Customer Success team at customersuccess@squirrelsystems.com with any additional questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Jason Leeson
President, Squirrel Systems