How Covid Has Changed Us ~An Open Letter to Our Customers
To say as a restaurant, we are one of the lucky ones during this pandemic is an understatement. Our business model of being seasonal and all outdoor has made it so that we were able to survive much better than most. Still, we missed 30% of our season due to closures in 2020 and 2021.
Reservations Had you told us in 2019 that GTs would take reservations and have hosts to seat you, we would not have believed it. In Covid our “seat yourself” model no longer worked. We HAD to ensure that every table was fully sanitized between customers every time. Taking reservations, having hosts at the door and bussers to sanitize the tables became our new normal. To our surprise, it made much more sense as a business and many customers appreciated it. Hosts and reservations are here to stay.
Live Music has been a staple at GTs since we opened in 1993. We were incredibly surprised by how much happier our staff were because they were well rested. Closing by 11pm nightly means no one is there until 3am cleaning up after the last customers and waiting for the band to pack up. The difference was dramatic. Every year, the liability and insurance on greater alcohol sales gets higher. When it was a beautiful night and the crowds came in, bands were amazing. What most customers didn’t see were the long nights when the weather wasn’t great or the band didn’t draw. During the day, just as many customers said they preferred us without live music as those that did. They came to enjoy the food, the company and the great view and did not want their conversation interrupted by live music. For all of these reasons, GTs will move forward as the best possible restaurant we can be and we will close by 11pm.
Volleyball has also been a staple feature of GTs. While it might not seem that groups of people playing volleyball has any impact on our ability to be successful, there’s one simple reason we will no longer be providing volleyball nets. Parking. Volleyball players often bring individual cars and use parking spaces for several hours. For this reason, it no longer makes sense for GTs to maintain the volleyball nets or host volleyball tournaments.
Beach Extension Finally, we are beyond grateful that the municipality allowed us to extend our patio onto the beach during the pandemic but this will not be staying permanently. Our kitchen is only large enough to handle our current footprint and the toll on the staff to serve tables on the sand, often in scorching heat cannot be understated. Once tables no longer have to be 6′ apart, we will no longer have tables on the beach.
We are so grateful to you, our customer. THANK YOU for supporting us through this pandemic and we hope this letter helps you to understand why we had to change and why some of those changes have now become permanent. We very much look forward to serving you lunch or dinner for many years to come.
Carol & Andy Gates
Owners, GTs On The Beach
Reservations are recommended but not required! Reservations for 6 people or less are taken ONLINE ONLY (no phone reservations) by clicking the link below a maximum of 14 days in advance. A VERY limited number of reservations for 7 people or more can be made by emailing email@example.com a minimum of 24 hours in advance.RESERVE ONLINE