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Dimsum Break, a food haven for Cebuanos amid the COVID-19 storm

By: Marc Cosep March 23,2020 - 12:15 PM

The coronavirus is shaking up businesses and consumer behavior on a massive scale.

Both the public and private sectors are scrambling to slow the spread of the illness and contain COVID-19 infections.

While the full economic consequences are still unclear, we know that the effects that the virus and the drastic measures being taken to contain it are already precipitating changes across industries.

For Harbour City Group, their stringent efforts to follow government policies and implement them have been effective and have played a huge role in containing the virus in the context of their food business.

According to Steven Charles Kokseng, Harbour City Group’s marketing head, they have been conducting information campaigns within the company.

Harbour City Group comprises of restaurants like Harbour City, Ding Qua Qua, and Ding How.

“(We) made sure that all team members understand what the threat is all about,” said Kokseng.

The company has also laid guidelines on self-quarantine in the event of a team member or a member of his household show symptoms.

At their facility, temperature checks at entry points, and periodic reminders for hand-washing and sanitizing are practiced to ensure the safety of the food we serve.

“Hand-washing and sanitizing, wearing of face masks, and social distancing measures are met,” said Kokseng in an email interview with CDN Digital.

“Even before the onset of Covid-19, the group has always implemented measures for food safety throughout the entire supply chain,” he said.

According to Kokseng, its central commissary is a Food and Drug Administration certified facility.

Garlic Pork

At the store level, its restaurant managers all bear ServSafe certification, an international certification program for food and beverage safety administered by the US National Restaurant Association, which is also accredited by the American National Standards Institute.

Communications

With the government’s strict implementation of work-from-home and curfew ordinance, the company ensured open communication throughout the entire organization.

“(With this) changes in policies, practices, and procedures were quickly implemented,” he said.

The company also held several meetings to apprise team members of the developments facing the company.

“This was also an (avenue) to hear concerns of individual team members,” he added.

As of March 20, less than 10 stores remain in operation.

Dimsum Break Spring Rolls

With this, production from their central facility, administrative and support group offices are non-operational.

“Company’s leadership team communicate frequently to assess changes in strategy,” he said.

As per Kokseng, for the few stores that are still operating, employment is purely voluntary.

“If there are team members in stores that remain open who do not feel comfortable reporting to work, their wishes are respected,” he said.

According to him, the word “Dimsum” means to touch the hearts.

“Our company’s mission is to touch hearts of our customers by providing delightful dining experience,” he said.

Taking this to heart, the company prioritizes the health and well-being of their loyal customers and that of their employees — that they realize that the company’s obligations goes beyond economic realities, but also the moral obligations that the firm have honored.

With this, the company implemented a financial assistance program to all members and avail of its leaves and the advance release of their 13th-month pay.

With the company having just celebrated its 50th year in the business last year, Kokseng said that they acknowledged their duties and responsibilities for their employees and their immediate families.

In conclusion, Dimsum Break uses this slowdown as an opportunity to build real relationships with employees and customers — develop human experiences and connections that transcend through any dish offered.

That Dimsum Break continues to offer the Cebuano community a safe place to come together, to get to know them, and serve them./dbs

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