Wilson Construction Co. has reinstated its practice of buying companywide lunches from local restaurants each week — an effort to support eateries that have been forced to close their dining rooms amid an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations.
During the first shut-down, Wilson ordered dozens of lunches from a rotating menu of local restaurants every day of the work week — always picking up the tab. The Wild Hare Saloon, Backstop Bar & Grill, Wayward Sandwiches and Ebners’ Custom Meats were just a few of the eateries that benefited.
Company president Don Wilson said they have cut the practice back to three days a week in this current shutdown, joking that otherwise, he would also have to soon spring for staffwide gym memberships.
The truth is that the practice has had a huge positive impact on staff morale, Wilson tells The Canby Current.
“Everybody appreciated it very much,” he says. “Generally, it lifts everybody’s spirits to be able to help their community and also have a warm lunch.”
He leaves it up to the staff to pick the restaurants each week. The Wild Hare was one of the first selections, providing delivering lunches for Wilson’s Canby, Aurora and Woodburn-based staff members last Friday.
The Hare has long been a favorite of Wilson employees (one of their most popular menu items, Scott’s Quesadilla, is named after the company’s fleet operator, Scott Carr).
“It’s so amazing,” owner Joan Monen tells the Current. “We’re so grateful for the support of our community and the incredible generosity of people like Don Wilson.”
To Wilson, it only makes sense to support the local restaurants that have been so severely impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns, while his business has been relatively unaffected — at least, economically.
Many of their office staff are able to work from home, while their large garages allow ample room for mechanics and technicians to maintain safe a distance from each other.
“Something like this, you know, it attracts good employees, people who want to support the community,” he said. “And it makes the community stronger and better. The restaurants and their wait staff — those are the people who have really suffered. We feel fortunate to be in a position where we’re working.”
Wilson is no stranger to abiding by the phrase “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.” In September, he also lent his blessing to employees who asked to borrow company equipment to help fight raging wildfires in the Molalla area — near their own homes and neighborhoods.
Wilson said he plans to continue the practice as long as the “freeze” is in effect, which will be at least two to four weeks, according to the governor’s statements — though many expect it to last much longer.
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