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The Bright Side

The Woodland

A trip to the Woodland restaurant is usually a gastronomic pleasure. Food is the focus for owner Robert Peters, who never would have dreamed of distracting his diners from their meals with thoughts of toilet paper.

But the recent COVID-19 crisis makes strange bedfellows and now Peters is promoting his popular restaurant by offering a free roll of toilet paper with every take-out meal.

Restaurant patrons can now enjoy their charred tuna sashimi or pistachio nut-crusted salmon with lemon buerre blanc in the safety of their own home, secure in the knowledge that they have, at the same time, augmented their precious stash of TP.

Peters, like most businessmen, was blindsided by the escalating effects of COVID-19. “I didn’t know I would be shut down,” he said, “and I had just ordered an extra case of toilet paper in case I couldn’t get more. There is something like 200 rolls in a case.”

With plenty of toilet paper on hand, he decided it would be a good incentive to bring customers to his doors for take-out food. At one point, he had so much toilet paper he had it stored in his garage and in the trunk of his car. “I just ordered another case for tomorrow,” he said.

The need for more TP indicates the positive response he has had. “I must have given out 600 rolls of toilet paper in the last week,” he said. “I was busier last week than I was when I was open.”

The picture is not entirely rosy, however. He said his revenues are down because people do not order drinks the way they do in a restaurant (although a new Connecticut law allows restaurants to sell alcohol with take-out orders).

Peters is trying to make sure that his customers and staff remain safe amidst the health crisis. Telephone orders are taken and customers can pay over the phone. “They can’t touch a pen,” he said. “People come in to pick up their meals but they stay away from each other. We are learning as we go.”