After weeks of planning, protocol training, and implementing enhanced safety measures that exceed state and federal regulations, we are slowly reintroducing services at all milk + honey locations this week.
I’d like to provide in-depth detail about our reopening phases. I hope this transparency equips you with the necessary information to make the decision of when returning to milk + honey feels right for you.
First, I’d like to highlight some critical aspects of our employee requirements:
- At this time, we are recalling employees on a volunteer basis. It is not mandatory that service providers return to work.
- We have updated our paid-time-off policy to include an expanded sick leave benefit. This benefit is for all employees to use toward sickness, disability, medical appointments, or if a doctor has recommended that they self-isolate due to coming into close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19.
- We have partnered with Remedy, a fleet of open-air, drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Austin, Fort Worth, and Houston, that is available 24/7, 365 days a year. This partnership provides our team with free COVID-19 evaluation and testing.
- All milk + honey employees are required to certify they have not been in close contact with anyone who is/was COVID-19 positive to their knowledge.
- All milk + honey employees are required to have their temperature checked with a non-touch thermometer when they arrive to work. Any employee with a temperature of 100ºF or higher will be sent home.
- Employees will continue to follow strict sanitation policies before, during, and after each service and/or client interaction.
- Upon arrival at any milk + honey location, there will be additional safety and sanitation measures noted throughout the space. We will have visual social distancing markers in the retail and lobby area as well as the lounge to ensure physical space is kept between individuals.
We’re calling this current phase our “soft opening.” During this phase, we’re only offering salon treatments with reduced capacity and staggered appointments to allow for optimal social distancing. All hair-dryer/blowout and keratin services are suspended until further notice. At this time, we are prioritizing clients on the reservations waitlist as well as those who had appointments canceled due to our closure in March.
Phase 1 of our reopening begins on June 1 and we will expand our service offering to include massage, esthetics, and nail treatments. This phase is also voluntary for our employees. All services will be offered in a reduced capacity, in staggered appointment times, and with necessary modifications. In addition to blowout and keratin services, all Body Treatments, Couples Treatments, and the Warm Oil Head and Neck Massage and Hair Masque enhancements will be suspended until further notice. Any steam elements received in facial services will be replaced with hot towel compresses. Select online appointments will be available to reserve, but we will continue to primarily contact clients who have joined the reservations waitlist. If you have not done so already, you can join here.
In Phase 2, we will continue to adhere to all of our enhanced sanitation and safety protocols that were put into place during our soft opening but will also increase our capacity to provide services. During this phase, we will open up additional shifts and invite more of our employees to return to work.
The following phases will be contingent upon feedback from employees and clients, our own and expert risk assessment of the spread and danger of the virus, and further monitoring of the COVID cases here in Texas. We will provide more detail around later Phases as we know more.
Throughout every phase, we will exceed COVID-19 regulations provided to us by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and ask that the following precautions, listed below, be met by our clients. If they are not, we will kindly ask you to reschedule your appointment to a later date.
- Clients are required to wear masks upon arrival and throughout the duration of their reservation. There will be minor exceptions, which include facials, facial waxing, and changing from a personal mask to a disposable one for haircolor services.
- Only the client receiving the service is permitted to enter. Additional guests, including children, will not be permitted. We apologize for the inconvenience.
- Social distancing will be enforced — with the exception of the service provider that a client is scheduled with.
- All clients will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their reservation to allow time for an extended check-in. Check-in will include taking the client’s temperature with a non-touch thermometer. If the temperature is above 100ºF, we will ask the client to reschedule.
- Our concierge will verbally screen clients upon arrival and inquire about the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain/headache
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Feeling feverish
- Known contact with a person confirmed positive for COVID-19
- A temporary sanitation surcharge will be added to each ticket.
- We will make every effort to make payments touchless. The same card used to schedule the reservation should be physically shown to the Concierge at the time of checkout.
- Clients should bring minimal personal items to their reservation.
- Our amenities in the locker room are temporarily unavailable, including showers, robes, sandals, and styling products.
- We encourage clients to bring their own water bottles but will provide water upon request in single-use cups.
- We recommend that our Concierge handle all retail and ask that clients refrain from touching the products on the shelves. If a client would like to try something, they may request a sample in a single-use container.
As a business owner, mother, and fellow human navigating these murky waters, I know that reopening is a big step — one that will undoubtedly spark questions and concerns. While I feel confident that our team has done (and will continue to do) an exceptional job in addressing every aspect of employee and client safety, I welcome any and all questions you have regarding our reopening. The best path forward is to continue the conversation honestly, openly, and together as we move into these next phases.
We look forward to seeing you soon.