You watch movies like “Contagion” or “World War Z” and think, ‘Nothing could possibly ever happen like this.’ But here we are in April and we are now adapting to a new societal norm, eerily similar to that of “Contagion,” a world where a mass spread of a virus is killing thousands, moving quickly, and affecting families of all ages, races, and cultures alike.
The Snook Inn, a famous landmark on Marco Island for over 30 years located on the Marco River is a favorite place for visitors and residents to enjoy year-round. We are learning daily how to acclimate and create an atmosphere that is both safe and beneficial to our staff, customers, and colleagues. This booming waterside restaurant has changed, almost overnight, into a small delivery and take-out establishment. We have familiarized ourselves with a new Dockside service, allowing boats to pull up, dock, and order, without ever having to leave the comfort of their vessel. As for delivery, we’ve compiled an insurance policy so we can safely deliver to all our neighbors on Marco Island. We have learned the trade, are continuing to learn new, more resourceful ways of doing business, and are using this opportunity to take note of possible gains in our future.
Friday, March 20, 2020, will forever be a day to remember here at The Snook Inn and our other locations, Marc Prime, The Oyster Society and DaVinci’s. Around 2:30 PM, the news broke that Governor DeSanctis had ordered all restaurants to shut down and begin delivery and take out only. Thankfully, two weeks prior, we had sat down as a company and began building what would become our plan of action in this event.
Our team members were immediately informed, and communication was sent out on unemployment and COBRA benefits. A special phone line was set up for those with questions or needs. Navigating unemployment and COBRA benefits is a challenging task and we remain here to assist, offer support and help.
Our employees and community mean the world to us. So naturally, our first response is, and was, to protect them. It is never easy to have to watch dozens of your valued family members walking to their car not knowing when they will return. For us, it was monumental to continue feeding them and helping where we could.
Each day, we offer an employee meal at each of our 4 locations: The Snook Inn, Davinci’s, Marco Prime, and The Oyster Society. Likewise, all our staff knows that if we can help them with supplies such as toilet paper, we will gladly do so. Constant emails, text threads, and phone calls are being made daily to check on our staff, their families, and their needs. We are here for them and are doing what we can to keep them comfortable.
The Carvelli Restaurant Group has made it a priority to feed our nurses, police officers, and help our fire station daily. We are providing meals for them to thank them for their continued support within the island. While we are struggling here, none of us can imagine the situations these heroes are putting themselves into on a regular basis. We are proud to serve them and are grateful to have the means to do so.
However, the generosity goes both ways and we have had several stories of the community supporting our locations. A regular guest at The Oyster Society generously donated a $10,000 check to divide among the staff members to help out in this time. And another donated $5000 to DaVinci Restaurant. There are numerous stories of generous tips given to our take-out and delivery service. One evening, we had a guest drive through the parking lot, just to leave a cash tip for everyone working that evening. We are so appreciative of the strong support that the community has shown to us.
Because we were allowed to sell closed containers of alcohol, we created a Mai Tai and Rum Runner to go for our guests in a sealed liter bottle. We are being creative in thinking of new ideas for our guests to continue to enjoy our signature food and beverages. DaVinci offers wine recommendations to pair with your meal.
Our existing team is continuing with social distancing and maintaining a clean and sanitized workspace.
Coming from a close Italian family from Mescora Italy, it will come as no surprise that The Carvelli clan is more than loving and caring for both each other and their staff members. The mentality is ‘Arms wide open.’ Each individual is an important asset of the restaurant and is treated as if this were their home. No one goes unheard or uncared for. “La porta e’ sempre aperta” The door is always open.
During this time of complete turmoil, the behavior has tripled rather than declined. Each family member is bouncing back and forth between restaurants checking in on everyone; it is inspiring and what we are made of. It brings us together as a whole and will bring us back into the workforce stronger than ever.
In a time with such uncertainty and understanding, The Carvelli Restaurant Group is doing everything we can to keep our community together while standing 6 ft apart. It is a stressful time that, in months to come, will lead to beneficial leaps in our restaurants that we call home.
We are proud and honored to be a part of the Marco Island community. We look forward to being fully functional and once again opening doors to our guests.