Food service employees at Thai Orchid thankful for support

New promotions from local restaurant help stimulate new wave of take-out during pandemic restrictions

CLARK COUNTY — Navigating this pandemic as a restaurant worker can be scary. Luckily, for employees at Thai Orchid in Vancouver, “interesting” was more often the word used to describe what it’s been like. 

Thai Orchid bar manager Nohi Brede says he expects “interesting” to continue to characterize his ever-changing workplace in this second round of lockdown. 

To-go drinks line the counter of Thai Orchid in Vancouver during a time of restricted dine-in seating due to the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Thai Orchid
To-go drinks line the counter of Thai Orchid in Vancouver during a time of restricted dine-in seating due to the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Thai Orchid

As Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said late last month in a COVID-19 community update, case numbers in Clark County are rising at “alarming” rates. The state has directed that restaurants and bars be closed for indoor service, but they can offer takeout and have limited outdoor seating.

“Hopefully, people will continue to support us in carry out,” said Josh Than, the lead manager at Thai Orchid. “That’s our only option.” 

The first time Washington went into lockdown, the community showed up. Waitress Maddie Finley said, “People really like our food and are willing to work with us to make sure we stay open. They should know even just grabbing an iced tea can help!” 

Along with takeout orders, many gift cards were purchased as people supported the local business. Promotions around gift cards are planned to make them even more enticing during the holidays. Right now, Thai Orchid has a beverage promotion. Inspired by the abrupt lockdown and a need to lower inventory, beer on tap, wine and cocktails are being offered at a discount. 

Discounted drinks are a silver lining for customers, but Brede has found another silver lining during the pandemic: He’s been watching the work ethic of employees at Thai Orchid grow and strengthen. “Workers are growing and evolving in inspiring ways,” he said. “Seeing their development has been amazing.”

Brede adds, “This restaurant has longtime employees, which is rare in the industry,” he said. “That’s because it feels like family,” says Brede. And like a family in crisis, team members at Thai Orchid are willingly taking on different roles and extra duties.

He and others think it starts at the top, saying the restaurant’s owner has been diligently watching out for guest and worker safety, making the family vibe at Thai Orchid even stronger.

“The camaraderie has been great,” says Brede. He’s looking forward to that staying around after the lockdown days.

For more information, including address and to order online, go to https://thaiorchidvancouver.us/.

Information provided by Elizabeth Hovde and Thai Orchid

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