Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa’s Marty Grabias was described as “da numba one boss” Thursday during the resort’s meal distribution for its colleagues.
“The traffic is moving smoothly today,” Grabias said while moving packages of food from the rack and into people’s cars at the resort’s porte cochere. “People are just so happy to see each other. They want to talk. The first time we did this, everybody was talking and the traffic didn’t move.”
Many of the resort’s employees are starting to come back to work, but many more have been idled since March when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the resort. The governor’s 14-day quarantine for out-of-state arrivals has been extended to July 31, which translates to an extended period of unemployment.
“We don’t know when we’re supposed to come back to work,” one of the volunteers said while packing a whole marinated chicken.
The chicken was the star of the meal that included a family-sized portion of garlic fried rice, pineapple cole slaw, and a ready-to-bake dessert, topped with fresh papaya and an instruction sheet on cooking the meal. According to Dan King, the resort’s general manager, more than 700 meals were prepared and served through two lines driving through the porte cochere.
This weekend coincides with Father’s Day, so the employees can cook the meal at their convenience, he said.
The resort launched its food-for-colleagues program at the end of March when the resort shut down, handing out packages containing a variety of food and produce, including lettuce from its hydroponic garden.
During April, the resort turned over harvests from the hydroponic garden to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank for use in the KIFB food distributions, and during the month of May, the hotel distributed more than 500 dinners of beef chow fun, salads, including lettuce from the hydroponic garden, and dessert.
That meal was followed later in the month with a family-style meal of kalua pig, macaroni salad and dessert.
“I just don’t know,” King said. “Maybe we’ll do another ready-t0-cook meal for the next one. Maybe breakfast?”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.