Torani Care Efforts During COVID19
Care Deeply for People has been a core value at Torani since our founding in 1925, and in these challenging times, a people first approach matters more than ever. This value applies to all the people we touch, including the communities we operate in and serve, consumers and customers around the world and, of course, our team members.
Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been and will continue to be in service of helping keep people safe and well as they make, serve and enjoy a favorite beverage, or discover a new one. We’d like to share with you the ways Torani is responding to this new world we are all living in, and how we are working to help people find opportunities to thrive despite the turmoil.
Care Deeply for Our Communities
Donations and Community Support
We, like many of you, also want to give direct support to those who need it most. Here are a few ways Torani has been working in our community to help those impacted.
- Product donation to Midwest Food Bank to provide COVID-19 relief
- Bottle packaging & dispensing donation to Kaiser Permanente to support hand sanitizer production for health care facilities
- Partnerships with cafés and distributors to support free coffee for first responders programs, including product donations to offset costs for operators
- Development of support programs and connecting our café partners with technology solution providers to help independent cafés reopen and facilitate new ways of operating through online ordering, touchless pay and curbside pickup programs that many smaller businesses could not afford to develop and maintain on their own
- Patronizing local “Mom ’n Pop” restaurants and sandwich shops to purchase lunches for our Torani frontline/on-site team members daily
These efforts are a combination of products, time and people support, with an economic impact of over $2 million worldwide.
Care Deeply for Our Customers
Torani Café Opportunity Fund
Opportunity is a word that can be defined in many ways, and, for us, it means being there for our partners in the café and restaurant community who have been so severely impacted. We are fortunate that our business has been able to adapt to the challenges presented, and we established the Torani Café Opportunity Fund as a way to help those struggling to maintain their businesses right now and as economies reopen around the world.
We love our community of baristas, mixologists and chefs who work in operations large and small…and we want to do our part to help make certain there is a drink ready to help fuel the front lines, and provide a small bit of joy in days that can seem long and challenging.
This fund provides a range of support to help meet the unique needs of our partners including
- Cash grants to help restock depleted inventories so cafés can reopen when it is safe to do so
- Barista Fund donations that support the workers displaced so suddenly by required closing
- Product donations for free drinks for frontline workers among other programs
- Creation of an online community for foodservice operators, including live events with financial, operations and creative beverage experts to help individual operators survive and eventually thrive the new world we are all operating in
- Personal outreach to our partners in the US and other countries to identify the best way to help out in their local market, down to the café level
We’ve committed $250,000 to the fund, and dedicated many team members to work with our partners and support these efforts.
Care Deeply for Our People
People are the center of everything we do at Torani, so our first response was to think of the health and safety of our team. We shut down our manufacturing lines, distribution center and offices (with all team members on 100% full pay despite the closure) when the Bay Area instituted a shelter in place order so we could determine the best way forward for our team, our partners and our communities. It was a radical step but a necessary one, given the swirl of information that hit us all in the early days of COVID-19 response.
Our executive team and Chair of the Board immediately formed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) to guide the response effort, and for over a month, the team met more than twice daily to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape and sometimes conflicting guidance coming from government and health organizations.
We quickly determined a safe way forward as an essential manufacturing business, and resumed manufacturing and shipping operations just 2 days later with full enhanced health and safety protocols in place, and voluntary participation for onsite roles. We maintained pay for those frontline team members who could not physically report for work for any reason including child care coverage, family member care and needs, or simply trepidation about leaving home those first few weeks.
Torani is a place where we enjoy seeing each other and interacting every day, so the new restrictions required by shelter in place orders were hard for many of us. Social isolation and anxiety about the state of our business in the ever changing world landscape were key issues, so we worked tirelessly to maintain connection to our entire team through regular communications. This includes things like daily department team meetings on Zoom, weekly “Dear Torani Team” letters from me and on behalf of the Rapid Response Team to update our teams, expressions of appreciation to our frontline/on-site team members from remote/at-home team members, including a few team members forming a “Mask Brigade” to sew re-usable face coverings, and even some fun events like online trivia nights to help keep our connections to each other strong while we cannot see each other in person.
Here are a few of the updates and changes we have made during this time, and we continue to modify our approach as guidance from the FDA, CDC, WHO, and local authorities is updated.
Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols
- Coronavirus Code of Conduct rolled out including extensive social distancing protocols and practices; only frontline workers allowed on-site, others working from home; travel and health declarations required for anyone visiting our plants, warehouses and offices.
- Revised personal protection equipment guidelines, including the use of gloves and face coverings.
- Multiple health & safety audits daily
- Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of shared surfaces by janitorial services
- No non-essential visitors allowed onsite
Team Member Pay, Benefits and Support
- Shelter-In-Place (SIP) Transition – ensured 100% pay for the first 3 weeks of SIP, including for frontline team members whose work could not be done from home.
- Premium Pay – frontline/on-site team members received 50% premium per hour for 2 months; temp workers could qualify for weekly bonuses; Supervisors received leadership bonuses
- Expanded Sick Coverage – team members get up to 12 weeks of full pay if illness due to COVID-19
- Flexible and compassionate Leave of Absence (LoA) practices- personal decision for each individual depending on their specific needs
- Added flexible work schedules for our frontline/on-site team members, so that they’re able to arrange schedules to care for their at-home children/families