DENVER — Starting a new business during a global pandemic may not seem like the best idea, but that's exactly what two restaurant workers did after their restaurants drastically reduced operations.
One week before the City of Denver issued a stay-at-home order, closing in-house dining for local restaurants, Ace Eat Serve Executive Chef Thach Tran and Joy Hill Bar Manager Dustin O’Connell launched Mile High Disinfectant Services.
"We got the company name, the website and two days later, the government shutdown all restaurants," said Tran.
Using the cleaning skills they learned in the restaurant industry, O’Connell and Tran began working on starting their disinfectant business weeks before the pandemic would cut-off their primary source of income.
“You spend all of that time, late at night cleaning your kitchen or cleaning your bar or hanging out while other professional teams come in. It’s nice to be able to take that time and effort we’ve invested in the behind the scenes parts of our day jobs and turn them into something we can leverage and do on the side during times that we can’t work,” said O’Connell.
Mile High Disinfectant Services uses a hospital grade disinfectant that is food-safe and kills bacteria.
“It kills a host of other viruses as well, like the common flu, HIV, Hepatitis C and the coronavirus,” said Tran.
O’Connell and Tran said they launched their business at the perfect time and were able to immediately begin sanitizing homes, warehouses, and essential businesses.
“The bigger clients are H Mart (and) we’re in contract working with Pacific Ocean Marketplace — there’s 3 locations,” said Tran.
To complete the jobs for those bigger clients, Tran and O’Connell have turned to their restaurant coworkers who also lost their incomes.
“A lot of our friends and coworkers are out of work right now and so with a couple of larger clients and larger businesses, we’ve been able to take people who are really hurting for money right now and throw a little bit of work their way,” said O’Connell.
Tran and O’Connell plan to stay in the disinfectant business for as long as possible.
But they also hope to eventually return to their restaurants.
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