Cider Corner: How Pennings Handles its Taproom at COVID Capacity Constraints

Outdoor seating was ​Pennings Farm Cidery‘s only seating option up until the end of November. However, with the cold weather ​on the way, ​the Warwick, New York cidery added some tables inside ​the taproom that ​were spaced apart as another option for customers.

The cidery ​has strictly enforced the rule that masks must be worn at all times unless sitting down at a table​ and they​ have also been very careful to make sure that if there are any lines at any time, customers are standing 6 feet apart from one another to keep everyone safe.

​Communicating​ this has become easier as many other businesses follow similar rules, but Annie Stubeck, the cidery’s Sales & Compliance Manager, told Brewer that the biggest hurdle for its staff has been the constantly changing rules that they need to abide by.

“Sometimes the rules are announced the day before they are put into place which can be a challenge, but our staff has been excellent at adapting to the guidelines at a fast pace,” she said.

She added that the facility has received very positive feedback from customers regarding the way they enforce the rules.

“Customers who are wary of being in a public place have told us that they enjoy coming to our establishment because they feel comfortable and safe,” Stubeck said.

​But how does Pennings handle the negativity or blowback from consumers that can come with putting in these new constraints?

​”​We do our best to explain to customers why we have these rules in place and that our goal is the health and safety of both our staff and all customers​,” Stubeck said​. “In any situation, there will be people who disagree with certain decisions, but we are confident in our processes and believe that we are working in the best interest of our customers and staff.​”​

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