Over 100 furloughed hospitality employees returning to work in Charleston

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Wednesday, over 100 employees of Avocet Hospitality Group will resume working, as part of the group’s ‘phase one’ of reopening. The company has developed a “comprehensive three-phased set of guidelines for reopening…to accommodate business levels without compromising the health and safety of both employees and guests.”

Most employees will be working from home and participating in online training sessions “for the next few weeks until it is deemed appropriate to reopen.” Avocet says that the training sessions will focus mostly on “enhancing employee preparedness working in the service industry post-COVID-19.” Topics include “proper social distancing, food handling, disinfecting, guest interaction, and other new standards to ensure…guests feel confident.”

Avocet, which owns hotels and restaurants including The Vendue, Revival, The Rooftop Bar, Tides Folly Beach, BLU Beach Bar & Grill, and Pier 101 Restaurant, was forced to furlough most employees in mid-March.

During the furlough, employees were able to used all accrued Paid Time Off, and were given two additional weeks of furlough pay. Additionally, health insurance premiums are being covered by Avocet “until the end of the furlough or June 30.”

Jonathan Weitz, owner of Avocet, said “Our employees are part of our family…It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to bring a large part of our team back to work and put money in their pockets.” However, Weitz emphasized the company’s commitment to doing things right: “Nobody wins if we open too fast without proper safety training and procedures.”

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