Restaurant Highlight: Molly’s Souper

On Saturday, May 23rd, San Bernardino County green lit restaurants in the area reopening dine-in services. Although they set guidelines encouraging social distance so as to keep fighting the spread of COVID-19, many restaurants were nevertheless excited to seat guests and recapture their most lucrative service. One of these restaurants was a local favorite, Molly’s Souper.

Located in downtown Upland, CA, the restaurant was previously owned by Molly Brouse and recently sold to long-time employee, Mere de los Santos. He worked his way from a busboy all the way to a management position and then bought the establishment earlier this year—just a few months before the pandemic caused widespread social distancing measures across the country, forcing him to close his new restaurant to dine-in services.

Now they’re back to seating their loyal customers, operating from 6AM – 2PM every day of the week and even establishing a “Pooch Patio” and doggie menu so customers can enjoy a meal with their pets. They’ve continually fostered customer relationships with personal touches and heartfelt messages that have guided their business model from the beginning and led them to become a staple of the community.

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Emerging from Quarantine

To prepare themselves and their customers for a safe dining experience, Molly’s Souper has made some changes in accordance with state law, county mandates and official CDC guidelines. They’ve created such measures as:

  • Space tables six feet apart.
  • Use paper menus on every table.
  • Packet condiments to prevent too many bare hands from touching them.
  • Set up hand sanitizer stations at the door as well as throughout the restaurant.
  • Switching to disposable utensils such as plastic forks and paper plates.

In addition to these physical measures, all the servers wear masks and gloves during their shifts. Many customers also choose to cover their faces, which helps the staff prevent the spread of this virus.

Despite having to take these additional precautions, the owner is excited to have the chance to continue to grow the business under his own leadership. Santos quickly rehired all twenty-five of his employees and worked hard to clean and sanitize the entire restaurant in anticipation of reopening, which they successfully did on May 24th.

Reopening

On Sunday, Molly’s Souper released messages on their social media announcing that they recommenced dine-in services. One Facebook post from a staff member, expressing their excitement over returning to work, garnered 327 likes, 42 comments and 64 shares in just over two and a half days. That post also perfectly encapsulates how Molly’s Souper encourages good customer relationships and demonstrates a sense of family, as employees are happy to be back as well and felt comfortable tagging the old and new owner as well as the restaurant itself.

As part of their official safety policies, California asked restaurants to reduce their customers by 50% and space out their tables to promote social distancing. In compliance, Molly’s Souper rearranged their tables six feet apart and will minimize how many guests they seat at any given time, which will help prevent dangerously overcrowding the restaurant.

Throughout these months of quarantine, Molly’s Souper has remained open for pickup and delivery services through Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats where they offered their full menu to customers. Now they’re finally able to provide that same menu to dine-in customers again and they’re as eager to serve their guests as the guests are to experience the restaurant’s good food, outstanding service and familial atmosphere once again: Since reopening this weekend, a ton of their loyal customers have posted excitedly about being back at the restaurant. They’re tagging their location, recommending Molly’s Souper to others, describing their experience with pictures of themselves, the food or the menu and posting excited messages to the restaurant’s Facebook about how good it is to be able to dine out with them once again.

As the restaurant keeps working hard to provide their customers with the same exceptional service as they always have, they’re also frequently sanitizing the facility and ensuring their operations are as safe and clean as the CDC and other official guidelines demand for both outdoor and indoor seating areas, as well as in the back of the house. Molly’s Souper continually aims to provide a friendly but safe experience for all of their loyal and beloved customers. As more restaurants open, guidelines change and official mandates evolve with the virus itself, Molly’s Souper will undoubtedly serve its community in the same hardworking and dedicated way that’s made it a local favorite all these years.

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