2020 has provided quite the ride so far. Safe to say not many would have predicted the events that unfolded so quickly in Feb and March leading to the sudden lockdown which is only very recently being lifted. We all have been affected in some way, our way of living is changed and we are figuring out how we are going to re start our lives and livelihoods. None more so than in hospitality which has been hit very very hard. Of course its a mixed picture and it depends on whom and where your customers were pre pandemic. If you were able to be adaptable and quickly change your direction then chances are you will have done at least ok , if not well and be now contemplating how push forward into this new landscape we find ourselves in. I feel very fortunate to have been able to quickly adapt and build an ordering section on my website which in the early part of the lockdown basically went nuts with orders! Me and my buddy criss crossed London on motorbikes in the strangest of atmospheres and in the quietest of times on the roads and brought all our kiwi treats to peoples doors. It kept me busy and gave a purpose to getting up in the mornings- i felt like i had a mission to complete! And it probably saved people a hell of a lot of time queueing at the supermarket for dinner!!
Strange times they were, but we are slowly re starting Secret goldmine and welcoming people back to be with us in person again! And, im over the moon just to be able to write that!! At the moment we are open on saturdays, and have been for the last month and a bit. We started just doing takeaway coffees and then began allowing people to use the benchs out side to eat hot pies . On the 4th of July when we were allowed to open officially we had a lovely Taproom unlock event and had a great day with beer flowing and general merriment- it seems that the good times might just be able to come back!
We are finding our way still with what we are able to do at Secret Goldmine because we want people to both feel and be safe- we are very lucky to have a large outside space which makes doing the Saturdays much easier, at least for now while the weather is being kind. Its unlikely we will be able to return to being a 5 day a week indoor cafe and having that great, cosy inside vibe. But we have come a long way in a short time considering for the 3 previous months we existed solely as a delivery business.
So while i can see a different kind of future for my business, for the restaurant sector and others in hospitality it looks very tough for the forseeable. I had my first restaurant meal out recently and was pretty shocked by the dramatic change compared from being there previously – the necessity of social distancing is going to financially cripple eateries, and it will force the ones who struggle on to ask their staff to work harder and longer. The customers will and should pay more for this pleasure, but it seems that the government could recognize that this industry is particularly fragile and do more, especially to help with staff wages. It would be a catastrophic shame if the pandemic buries restaurants to the point of no return.
So we individually should try and support one another, in what way we can. It seems we cant rely solely on government to bail us out, thats for sure but if we do our bit then things will , at the least, be a bit better for all.
Be kind to one another xx