NEWHALL, Calif. — The Craft Burger, topped with a house-made onion jam, is one of the most popular items at Newhall Refinery in Newhall.
Luis Rodella is the executive chef and while serving fresh food is a priority so is making customers feel safe amid the pandemic.
“Safety is our biggest concern that’s why our servers have masks, gloves… we even give them aprons every two hours so they can have clean aprons,” Rodella said.
That’s especially important to Rodella because he has a 1-year-old at home. He says “when I go out, [the] first thing I look [for] is to see if they’re following standards so when they come here, that’s what I want to give them too so they’re comfortable and enjoy their meal.”
This is why Newhall Refinery is part of the city of Santa Clarita’s Safer Business Commitment, abiding by eight points of promise that include face coverings, practicing social distancing, and using hand sanitizer.
But they’re also going a step further, also using a system where you download a QR Code and place your order and pay from your phone.
“When you place the order it goes directly through to the kitchen and the bar, the [staff uses the] tickets so it’s totally contactless,” said Simon Mee, who is the restaurant co-owner along with his wife.
Mee is also planning to apply for a permit that would allow him to expand outdoor seating into the parking area and possibly Main Street in front of his restaurant. Right now seating is limited inside Newhall Refinery due to pandemic restrictions.
“It’s just basically to help these businesses generate more income so they can stay afloat,” Mee said.
They’re all steps being taken to keep customers safe, something employees such as Rodella understand.
“You want to know you’re going into a safe place, that you’re comfortable coming in here instead of worrying that you might get sick,” Rodella said.