In order to ensure the survival of their restaurant, the Tequila Lounge, Ariane Robitaille and Cinthya Carolina Barona Escobar are engaged in the manufacture of masks in founding the company The Beautiful Mask.
June 10, 2020
Updated on June 11, 2020 at 6h03
[CRISIS management] The Beautiful Mask: save his restaurant with needles and cotton
The pandemic of sars coronavirus changes everything for the entrepreneurs here who suffer from it, but that bounce in front of the storm, together with their employees and, sometimes, bring about new ways of doing things. We are going to meet them in this series “Manage the crisis”.
Company: The Beautiful mask
Business Type: mask making Workshop
Contact: Ariane Robitaille, owner, and Cinthya Carolina Barona Escobar, owner
Q Your situation before the start of the crisis
R We are the owners of the restaurant Tequila Lounge. We’re going to celebrate our five years in the month of July. A dozen employees work there. We are still not very well known but we have a nice goodwill. We are not disappointed of our business.
Q How have you responded to the crisis?
R At the time we closed, it was the tragedy. We are two associates, two owners, either my wife and me. We therefore live under the same roof and our only source of income, it is our restaurant. Then it is necessary to understand the tragedy and the concern that we might live when we closed the dining room of our hotel. We wondered what we were going to do, that is what we would become. We tried to do take-out but it didn’t work. At the beginning of the pandemic, the people did not even eat food prepared in the restaurant. A certain panic set in. And as the various programs grants had not been announced, we were left without help and without support.
Q How came the idea of making masks?
R After a few nights without sleep wondering what we were going to do. We are conservators, but we are, above all, entrepreneurs. And we questioned how we could do our part to help the people around us while ensuring our survival. And it is at this time that we began to make masks of protection for the members of our family and our friends. Among our friends, there are restaurant patrons who have purchased and who have passed the word. And even more people have asked us masks. And it is at this time that we started to sell on our page of the Tequila Lounge and we realized that there was a very large demand for our masks. At this time, we were at the beginning of the month of April. We have therefore increased our production of masks by creating a production team with eight seamstresses, a designer and a salesman to work with businesses and we have created an online shop (lebeeaumasque.ca) where people could order their mask. Almost at the same time, the economic recovery is underway, and businesses and then restaurateurs have needed masks for their employees.
For us entrepreneurs, there is never a problem. And in a situation of stress, this is where it works the most. Find a team to make masks while we are in the field of restoration has not been a problem. There was a need to respond quickly to customer demand, we have hired in the space of three days, our eight seamstresses, our designer and our salesman, people who, as we understood that behind The Beautiful Mask, there was a restaurant that was dependent on it for its survival.
Q How have you greeted the news of the resumption?
R As it was already the making of masks, we asked what we could do to work with the businesses and the restaurants, and we thought to offer masks custom. With the help of our designer we have developed products that would allow us to serve these people. And since about two weeks, we offer masks custom. We respond to the needs of businesses and restaurateurs both at the level of designs and colours, and we add their logo. We do this while continuing to serve monsieur and Madame-All-The-World.
Q Are you confident for the future of the Tequila Lounge?
R Even if we had realized the potential of our business, we are happy to see that his success allows us to have a little less stress about the future of our restaurant. But nothing is gained. The restoration, it is a challenging environment. And the measures that the government has asked us to put in place we have a few surprises. This are applications in which it is difficult to answer when you are a small business with a small dining room. I don’t have misery to provide masks and visors to my employees, but when we’re talking about a restaurant of 60 seats to fill to its full capacity for expect to pay basic expenses, one wonders how we are going to do to be profitable while respecting the rule of separation of two metres between the tables and buying plexiglass to ensure the protection of customers and our employees. It is disturbing.
There is also a concern when we think that we can live thanks to the tourist traffic of the summer period, which brings us cash to get through the winter. And it is unclear whether tourists will be there. Fortunately, the sale of masks are going well and we are optimistic that it will be a key to success to ensure the survival of the restaurant.
Q The Beautiful Mask is it here to stay?
R The déconfinement and the economic recovery are expected to be made in several phases. And we think that the mask is going to become an accessory obligatory in some companies. We want to be there to continue to meet the demands of our customers…. and be listening to them. Currently we are the manufacture of coats for a beautician who comes to reopen his clinic. We also made headbands with buttons for nurses.