May 6, 2020
I want to personally thank each of you for your trust and patience as we continue to navigate this “new normal”. As California begins to transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the Governor’s four-phased approach to reopening, we are eagerly awaiting a timeline regarding when full-service restaurants will be allowed to reopen. We hope to receive more information from the Governor and local leaders later this week.
While we wait, we are proactively working on plans to ensure we are providing you with a safe environment when we reopen. One-time use, disposable menus, social distancing signage, and new sanitation procedures are just a few of the changes we have already begun to implement as we begin to prepare for reopening. I want to assure you that your health and safety, along with the health and safety of our guests, will continue to be our number one priority.
I am happy to announce that the fourth WECare Package pick up will be happening this Friday, May 8! Your managers will be reaching out directly with more information on the location and pick up times. I truly hope these packages are a blessing to you and your family during these challenging times.
Lastly, I would like to personally say Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers who are a part of our company. I hope all of us, whether together or apart, are able to make the mothers in our lives feel special and loved this weekend.
Stay healthy and I hope to reach out to you with more details very soon!
Founder & CEO
I hope each of you are staying safe and well as we continue to wait for the approval to re-open our locations and serve our wonderful guests again.
I have been humbled by the outpouring of support from our Provider & MB Communities. As our guests began to reach out to see how they could support you, the team members that our guests know and love, we looked for a way that would allow them to support our MBCares program. As your leadership team and I brainstormed ideas, we came across an opportunity to sell a limited edition MBCares T-Shirt, with all proceeds benefiting the MBCares Program.
Since launching last week we have sold nearly 175 MBCares shirts! With 5 more days left of the sale, we hope to sell over 200 shirts!
Now we need your help! Once we re-open, when a guest comes in wearing one of these shirts, we hope you as the beneficiaries of the Wecare program, will make every effort to thank that individual for their generosity and support during the pandemic. We as a company will be offering special “thank you gifts” to these guests, but we know a thank you from each of you will be even more special to these supporters.
Also, if any of you, your family, and friends are interested in a limited edition shirt, feel free to share the link below with them. We will also welcome any team members to wear this shirt during their shift for a limited time after we re-open, more details to follow on that!
Continue to stay healthy and well!
CEO & Founder
Two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope you share my view that along with the sun and warmer weather, we are beginning to see glimmers of good news on the horizon. Even as we mourn the tragic human and economic impact, I am optimistic that the worse is behind us, and we will soon begin the journey back to a semblance of normalcy for our families and communities. For our MB Family that will mean reopening our doors once again to our wonderful guests. I am working with your leadership team to ensure when we get the approval to open, we have taken extraordinary measures to ensure our team members and guests will remain safe and well. I can assure you your health and safety are of utmost importance to me.
I am also excited to continue our MB Cares program, with another care package pick up event this Friday, April 24th. Your managers will be reaching out today and tomorrow to share the details with each of you. I hope these packages provide some relief and support to you and your families during these extremely challenging times.
Thank you for your continued trust and confidence, I look forward to greeting you all soon at our locations’ Grand Reopenings! Until then, stay healthy and safe.
Founder & CEO
Perhaps inspired by the welcome warmer weather, this week we shift our focus to what’s next for us. Inevitably this will end and people will be allowed to sit down in a restaurant again. When that is and what that looks like is still up in the air, but it will happen. At that time our restaurants will emerge ready to create an environment both for guests and employees that is unique and memorable as there will be a new found appreciation for going out with friends and loved ones and enjoying life.
You all, as our employees, play a critical role in the success of our return. Undoubtedly that return may include changes in our customary practices of providing service. Trust that your management team will equip you with the necessary tools and training to get back to doing what you do best – delivering superior service every guest, every meal, every time!
Continue to check in with us weekly on our websites and Paylocity for any updates. Information regarding the next scheduled WEcare Package Pick-up will be posted early next week. As always, should you have any questions or need any assistance don’t hesitate to reach us at HR@phi.team.
Stay safe and stay healthy!
To My PHI, Provider & Market Broiler Family,
Although Easter is always a symbol of restoration and renewal, my hope is that this Easter Season provides each of you with hope for a brighter tomorrow and the promise that we will get through these challenging times.
The hospitality industry is notorious for requiring so many nights, weekends and holidays away from those we love, and it is through these times we are reminded of what truly matters. Time with our loved ones is such a precious gift, and I hope each of you are able to spend quality time with your family this season, remembering what this holiday truly celebrates.
Happy Easter, I am looking forward to working with each of you again soon.
To our PHI, Provider, and Market Broiler Family
Its been about three weeks since the closure of our restaurants and by now we are all slowly adjusting to a different way of life. We are thinking of you all and we strive to remain in communication with you through the weeks to help provide you with information as things continue to quickly develop.
The office of Human Resources is receiving daily correspondence regarding each Unemployment Claim that is filed. Trust that we are promptly responding to each claim so as to do our part in ensuring benefits are not unnecessarily delayed. Should you have any questions or need assistance with your claim do not hesitate to reach out to Human Resources at HR@phi.team.
Please be reminded that tomorrow, April 10th, is our second distribution of WEcare Care Packages. Detailed information regarding location and pick up times has been previously distributed on Paylocity and the Market Broiler and Provider websites.
We hope you have a splendid Easter with your immediate family!
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
By now you may all be familiar with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its Emergency Paid Leave and expanded Family Medical Leave provisions, signed into law on March 18, 2020.
Upon its initial passing we worked to quickly become familiar with the details of the law to ensure we can continue to provide you with the most current and accurate information. FFCRA and its provisions are applicable to employers who employ less than 500 employees. The law provides benefits for employees who are off work due to specified COVID19 related circumstances (which do not include furloughs or business closures).
As we have gained more knowledge about the new law we have learned that each Market Broiler, along with Provider Contract Food Services Inc and Preferred Hospitality, in the aggregate, currently exceeds the 500 employee maximum threshold specified in FFCRA. This means that Preferred Hospitality, Provider Contract Food Service, and each Market Broiler are not subject to FFCRA and no employee in any of these groups is currently able to request benefits under FFCRA.
Please know that while you may not be able to request such benefits, you still can, and should, apply for Unemployment Benefits, which have been expanded due to recently passed legislation to provide for a weekly payment of $600 in addition to your state weekly unemployment payment.
For the most up to date information on Unemployment benefits and how to file your claim please visit the Employment Development Department (EDD) at: https://edd.ca.gov/claims.htm
Please find below the FFCRA Poster.
To My Provider Family,
I hope this note finds you healthy, home (as much as possible) and well. I want to assure you that your leadership team and I are working tirelessly so that as soon as we are given approval from Federal, State and local governments, that it is safe to reopen our doors, we are ready! My personal goal is to get each and every team member back to full operation as soon as possible. Obviously, due to the Coronavirus and the crisis that has engulfed not only our company, but our entire industry, and the world, there will be challenges. But I am confident that we will face those challenges together with the resiliency and determination that has gotten us through the last thirty years.
I also want you to know that we as an organization are coming together to develop support programs for you during these difficult times. It is from these meetings that our WEcare program was born, and we hope that through this program we are able to continue to bless and support you until we are back together again.
I am humbled to announce that our inaugural WEcare event will happen this Friday, where we will be giving away over 500 WEcare care packages! Our management team is in the process of reaching out to each and every team member to ensure we have enough packages for everyone who requests one. We hope this small gesture will provide you and your family some relief and comfort during these difficult times.
It is my hope that we are able to announce more opportunities like this one very soon! Please continue to check this site for the most up to date information.
Stay healthy and well!
NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES
TO: Provider Contract Food Service Employees
FROM: Rodney Couch
DATE: March 20, 2020
SUBJECT:WARN Act Notice (California and Federal); COVID-19 National Emergency
As you know, the health and safety of our employees and our customers is always our highest priority. The COVID-19 virus is a quickly evolving and rapidly changing situation. We want to thank you for your continued service, professionalism and calm during this challenging period as we experience drastic and unexpected declines in revenue and other unforeseen adverse impacts on our business in response to this pandemic.
In response to the announcements by local public health officials adopting legal orders, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, and the declaration of a national and state-wide emergency by President Trump and Governor Newsom, we are taking what we believe are appropriate and significant measures to protect our employees and help contain and control the spread of this contagious virus.
Regrettably, due to these health-related concerns as well as the unforeseen impacts that the COVID-19 virus has had on our business, this requires that we place you and many other valuable employees on a furlough effective, March 22, 2020. We endeavored to provide you with as much notice as possible, but the events leading to this decision happened so quickly that we were not able to provide you with the customary sixty (60) days’ notice. This is not a reflection on your service or professionalism, and is certainly not a termination of your employment. Rather, this is a change in your status from active to temporary furlough because of these unfortunate circumstances beyond anyone’s control. This decision to temporarily furlough most of our employees is further based upon guidance from local, state and federal government officials, as well as from the CDC as stay home orders have been issued except for essential services.
We apologize that we were unable to provide you with more advance notice of this action but the actions leading to this decision happened so quickly and prevented us from providing more notice. Unfortunately, the ever-constant change in events surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and its effects on business have made it an unpredictable situation. Additionally, the recent governmental 7429.04
pronouncements have also imposed severe restrictions that directly affect our business. Accordingly, after carefully reviewing this information and our staffing needs, as well as our desire to protect the health of all parties, we have no choice but to engage in this temporary action. We are providing this notice to you at the earliest possible time.
It is our sincere hope that this temporary furlough will only be for a limited time. However, the COVID-19 situation and its effects on business is rapidly changing and we cannot predict how this will affect our ability to resume normal business operations.
There will be no "bumping rights" or the right of an employee to displace another employee in order to retain his or her position, in connection with the temporary layoffs.
Although we do not believe we are required to do so, this notice is being provided in accordance with the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. §2101 et seq. ("WARN Act"), the California WARN Act, (“Cal WARN Act”) Labor Code §1400 et seq., and Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-31-20 dated March 17, 2020, ("Executive Order") to inform you of a "plant closing" "mass layoff" and/or "termination" at the Company and to comply with any obligations it may have under the WARN Act and Cal WARN Act.
Additionally, it is our understanding and position that we are not required to provide employees with the full 60 days’ notice because of an exception referred to as “unforeseeable business circumstances” exception, as set forth in Section 3(b)(2)(a) of the WARN Act (29 CFR 639.9 (b)) and the Executive Order. It is our belief that this section is applicable in light of the fact that there exists increasing challenges presented by the extremely serious and potentially life-threatening impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the extreme decline in business, announcements by local public health officials, the CDC and the World Health Organization regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, and a declaration of national and state-wide emergency by the President and Governor.
The “unforeseeable business circumstances” exception under section 3(b)(2)(A) of WARN applies to plant closings and mass layoffs caused by "business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time that 60-day notice would have been required." The rapid onset of COVID- 19 and its impact on our business qualify as "unforeseeable business circumstances" and prevented the Company from providing 60 days’ notice.
Under the federal law, an important indicator of a business circumstance that is not reasonably foreseeable is that the circumstance is caused by some sudden, dramatic, and unexpected action or condition outside the employer's control. A principal client's sudden and unexpected termination of a major contract with the employer, a strike at a major supplier of the employer, and an unanticipated and dramatic major economic downturn might each be considered a business circumstance that is not reasonably foreseeable. A government ordered closing of an employment site that occurs without prior notice also may be an unforeseeable business circumstance.
At this time, you will be able to remain on the Company's group health insurance benefits on the same terms and conditions as if you were actively working. We will be providing additional information for premium contribution payments in a separate communication. Should you elect not to participate or continue your current coverage, you will be eligible to continue coverage through COBRA.
Please contact our Human Resource department to facilitate use of any unused and accrued PTO.
Although the length of your furlough we intend to be temporary, you may seek dislocated worker assistance by contacting:
Ms. Carrie Harmon, Director of Workforce Development
Riverside County Economic Development Agency/Workforce Development Division
1325 Spruce Street, Suite 400
Riverside, CA 92507
If you have been placed on temporary furlough, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI). More information on UI and other resources available for workers is available at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019.
We will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 developments over the next few weeks and will keep employees updated as new information becomes available.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the foregoing or other matters related to your employment, please contact your immediate direct report.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. Please stay safe and well.
Founder and CEO
Provider Contract Food Service
Today, based on what we know at this time:
The Senate has passed a bill and at this time we only have access to the press released information - without the actual law itself, we are unable to field questions in regards to the specific benefits you may qualify for - as soon as we get the formal letter we will be in a position to ascertain what additional benefits will be available to you.
Please continue to access this site for the latest information.
To our PHI, Provider, and Market Broiler Family,
I want to personally thank each and every one of you for the valiant effort you have made as we all do our part to help stifle the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). You have demonstrated the dedication and commitment that makes this company so great. I know each of you understands the fluidity of the situation and I am so grateful for your flexibility as our company makes adjustments to protect the health, safety and overall wellness of our team members and guests.
Although fear can be overwhelming, I want to remind us all that our nation is resilient and I know that we will unite together, leaning from one another, in order to get through this challenging time.
I have been in constant communication with our executive leaders, and together we have stayed abreast of the many changes, requirements, and guidance provided by the CDC, WHO, our educational partners and local Public Health Authorities. These updates have included removing self-service stations at our educational dining facilities, as well as reducing the seating capacity of our dine-in retail restaurants.
As the nation grapples with the effort to contain the coronavirus, the hospitality and dining industry have been challenged, and our company is no different. Business demand has decreased significantly, and because of this we have had to make very difficult decisions regarding scheduling and location operations. We know that these changes may have a significant impact on you and your families, and we want to support you with a list of assistance programs made available through our Human Resources Department as well as additional government support you may qualify for.
Paid Sick Time and Paid Time Off (PTO)
We continue to remind all employees of the importance of staying home when ill. Current Paid Sick Time and PTO programs provide compensation for absences due to illness. Please see your manager if you have exhausted your sick pay/pto for possible extension. Moreover, we have just learned the Federal Government may have passed emergency legislation to extend paid sick leave for 14 days. Once we learn of these new benefit requirements we will share that information as soon as possible.
State Support Programs
Under current California Labor code if you have lost your job or been temporarily laid off, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI). More information on UI and other resources available for workers is available at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019.
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
If you realize a reduction in your hours, or your location has temporarily shut down operations, due to COVID-19, you can file a UI claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers. If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may also be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Currently, eligible workers can collect UI benefits for the first week they are out of work
Disability Insurance (DI)
If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim which will provide you with benefits for full or partial wage loss. Eligible workers will be able to collect benefits the first week they are off work.
Paid Family Leave (PFL)
If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. Currently, PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to caring for an ill family member.
For the most complete information regarding each program, including instructions on how to apply for benefits, please visit: https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm. You may also reach the offices of Human Resources for further information and assistance.
Going forward, our team member updates will be posted on our websites. Please find the links below, to check on the most up to date status of the situation regarding your company.
I hope you will join me in praying for all those working diligently to keep our nation safe. From our President and government leaders to the frontline responders and healthcare professionals working around the clock. We also want to keep all of those who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 in our hearts and prayers.
It is in these challenging times that our great nation comes together to support one another, and in this, I find comfort and hope.
Dear Market Broiler, Provider & PHI Families,
When I started this company thirty years ago, I tried to imagine every possible hurdle. Yet over the last week, I have learned that there are some things for which the playbook has not yet been written.
The safety of our customers and you, our valued team members is, and will always be, my top priority. We are working hard and taking measures to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), while also maintaining our best-in-class dining experiences.
We have activated our entire leadership team to “Flu Season High Alert Protocol” with steps including increased cleaning and sanitizing of all locations, employee wellness checks prior to the start of every shift and increased hand sanitizer stations available to our employees and guests.
We want to remind all employees of the importance of staying home when ill, as well as practicing the highest level of personal hygiene. Our Paid Sick Time and PTO programs provide compensation for absences due to illness. If you have used up your Sick Pay/ PTO, see your manager for a possible extension.
We understand that many of you may be dealing with new challenges such as child care demands due to unexpected school closings and supporting elderly family members. Our Human Resources department will be sending a separate letter with a variety of assistance programs listed.
We are so thankful that, at this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 affecting any of our employees. W e'll continue to share information as it becomes available and do our best to keep you informed about what we are doing as a company and how best to prevent the spread of the virus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your immediate Manager for additional details.
We want you to know how much we appreciate your flexibility and commitment. We're here for you, and we'll get through this together – just as we always do.
Rodney Couch, Founder
June 11, 2020
To My Market Broiler, Provider and PHI Family,
I could not be more excited to announce that all of our Southern California Market Broiler locations will officially reopen on Monday, June 15!
Never in a million years would I have imagined that all of our locations would close for nearly three months, yet here we are. These past few months have been the most challenging I have ever faced as a business owner. Your confidence and trust have been invaluable to me during these uncharted waters. I want you to know every decision we made was based on what was best for our MB, Provider & PHI families. Each and every one of you are the heart and soul of our company and we would not be who we are without you. As our MB locations begin to reopen, I can’t wait to see all of your (properly covered) faces very soon!
I also have great news for those of you who work for our Provider division. I am happy to report each of the clients we serve are motivated to reopen as soon as possible and plan to have residential students and a “new normal” opening for the fall semester.
We are just awaiting an update from Alameda County regarding when our Fremont Market Broiler will be able to reopen. Please know that we are actively working to ensure we can open our doors as soon as permitted.
Thank you again for all of your trust and support.
Founder & CEO