THOMASVILLE—The new Chicken Salad Chick location had its grand opening last month on June 15 but promptly closed on July 12 after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
The restaurant, however, reopened its doors on Wednesday after all other employees tested negative for COVID-19.
Carolyn Gosselin, owner of the Chicken Salad Chick, said the employee with COVID-19 wasn’t in danger of infecting anyone else.
“That individual has not worked for five days, so we really felt that there wasn’t much of a chance that us or any of our customers would get it, but out of an abundance of caution, we decided to close on Monday and Tuesday,” she said.
The employee with COVID-19 is improving and Gosselin said it was the right decision to shut the restaurant down for two days.
“For us, the most important thing is transparency," she said. "As a small business, it’s really important for us to be honest with our employees and guests."
After being closed for those two days, Gosselin was happy to hear guests' concerns for the employee and praise for the return of the new location.
“People made us feel like we did the right thing and we were missed," she said. "It feels wonderful.”
The restaurant currently has 43 employees that Gosselin will pay for the two days the restaurant was shut down.
“We have 43 employees who depend on working, and so we’re paying them for the two days off because we don’t want to lose them and it’s not their fault. Again, we just try to do the right thing,” Gosselin said.
Since the grand opening, which had over 150 guests in attendance, Gosselin said Thomasville has welcomed her business with open arms and is happy to be a part of the community.
“It is remarkable how welcomed we’ve been and the fact that everyone was so caring about our employee and wanted to make sure that we were OK. That was really neat,” she said.