Food

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee is on a mission to serve its community now more than ever

By Loulou Chryssides

Image via Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee (@bkbagelny) Instagram.

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company opened with the mission of providing each customer that walked through its doors with the epitome of the New York bagel experience. Many would say that the minds behind Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee have been successful at doing just that, opening 5 bustling locations throughout the city.

However, like many other businesses during the pandemic, Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee is feeling the effects of the virus. Profits are down significantly, and its owners are doing everything in their power to keep employees off of unemployment. Currently Brooklyn Bagels & Coffee requires all staff and entering customers to wear face coverings, in addition to allowing no more than 5 customers in at a time, something owner Panos Voyiatzis sees continuing long-term until a vaccine or treatment prevails.

“This was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve made; it feels so cold and anti-customer service. It’s the complete opposite of our deeply ingrained customer service code. But the safety of our customers and staff must come first. All of these health and safety protocols, coupled with positive leadership, have helped our staff maintain good morale. Most of our customers are understanding and appreciative, which also significantly helps to boost morale, and we are so thankful for that. This is an extremely challenging period, but we will get through it”, said Voyiatzis.

The silver lining through this crisis? The overwhelming support each location has received both in-person and online from its customers. Specifically, customers’ regard of the stringent health protocols Voyiatzis and management have put in place has been appreciated.

Additionally, Brooklyn Bagels & Coffee are providing a 10% discount on every order placed through its website and its personalized app, which can be made available to customers’ phones by texting BKBAGEL to 33733.

What else can our community do to help one another during this uncertain time? Voyiatzis recommends adhering to healthy practices, such as wearing a mask and gloves when venturing outside, followed by sanitizing and discarding any packaging from outdoors to minimize the risk of potentially contracting and spreading the virus. And, to of course, support all local businesses; as choosing to remain open comes at a tremendous cost to business owners, and acts as a way to provide a sense of normalcy to both its staff and its community.

Said Voyiatzis: “First and foremost, we must remember all who have been lost. We pray for them, and all who have been affected by this pandemic. I am deeply connected to Astoria and have been part of this community for over 40 years. I know it sounds cliché to say we’re a strong neighborhood, but that’s exactly what we are. Our diversity, our dedication to family and our commitment to community has woven Astoria into an unbreakable web. I will always feel this way. I see our strength every day, in all of us. And I have no doubt that we will all be back, stronger than ever.”

Give Me Astoria would like to thank the team behind Brooklyn Bagels & Coffee for their generous donation of fresh bagels to our heroes at the 114th Precinct.

If you would like to learn more about Brooklyn Bagels & Coffee Company, you may visit its official website and Instagram. Additionally, if you would like to learn more about Give Me Astoria’s efforts to support local restaurants and feed healthcare and essential workers, you may visit our official GoFundMe page.

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