WILLIAMSBURG — The ownership of Moody’s Kitchen has announced a pivot to its business model to provide more concierge-level services for its patrons. Additionally, its parent company is looking into starting a health fund for its employees.
Moody’s Kitchen, an employee-owned company which is located at 7129 Merrimac Trail, was founded by Williamsburg native, Chef Neil Griggs, to accompany his wildly-popular dine-in restaurant, Cochon on 2nd.
The original concept for Moody’s Kitchen was what Chef Griggs described in a release to customers as a “commissary for Cochon on 2nd.”
Moody’s was not immune to the challenges faced by the hospitality industry during COVID-19. As a result, the ownership shifted formats to what was called a “Cochon at Home” concept. This included a large “to-go” menu based on the high-quality ingredients that Moody’s sister restaurant is known for. However, the restaurant industry-wide job vacancy crisis made it impractical for Moody’s to open each day.
The company’s ownership made the decision to raise wages in order to garner and retain a full workforce. Now boasting a healthy workforce, Moody’s is once again shifting models to what Chef Griggs describes as, “Center of the Plate.”
This new concept is based on the premise of providing “concierge-level service” with a one-on-one shopping experience for sourcing high quality ingredients and products. Moody’s proudly showcases proteins like prime beef, duck, lamb, Berkshire pork, sustainable Scottish salmon, local oysters and fresh picked crab meat. Additionally, other items included cheese selections, pates, olive oils and vinegars will be available for customers to choose from.
If there is something that a customer wants but Moody’s doesn’t have in stock, Chef Griggs notes, “[We] will find it for you.”
As part of this new format, Moody’s will also focus on off-premises catering services that are “white tablecloth,” fine dining. Customers interested in Moody’s catering services should visit its website for more information.
In the same release describing the pivot in model for Moody’s Kitchen, Chef Griggs also detailed a proposal for his company’s employees: A health fund.
Chef Griggs notes that 80 percent of Cochon’s employees live without health insurance. He notes that this is commonplace for “Mom and Pop hospitality companies” due to the company contribution costs of these policies.
As a result, Chef Griggs proposes an Employee Health Fund, which he states would be partially funded from the company’s patrons; a proposed contribution of 3 percent contribution based on food and beverage purchases. He notes that the remaining half of the fund would be supported by the company’s W-2 employees through its payroll system.
“When [COVID-19] hit, the hospitality industry was affected more than most industries because unfortunately, my industry does a terrible job of taking care of employee needs,” write Chef Griggs. “What I propose is not THE solution, but maybe the best solution currently. I want to get my folks insured ASAP.”
He is asking for his customers to share their thoughts on the Employee Health Fund by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. He adds, “We will be friends no matter our point of view, so please let me hear from you.”
The Virginia Healthcare Foundation reports that, in 2021, approximately 9.3 percent of Virginians under the age of 65 lived without health insurance.