2020 has been a year that no one could have predicted. The hospitality landscape has completely changed and brands have had to re-evaluate how they interact with customers. FSC Account Manager, Emily Burnett, takes a look at digital offerings and how some brands and operators have adjusted to become a part of the ‘virtual social gathering’…
Oh 2020, you cruel mistress. First you took our freedom, and now you’ve got your hands on our Christmas parties *proceed to apply sheet mask to a sobbing face (cos maskne, thanks again ‘Rona), place cucumber slices over the eyes and pull the duvet over-head until we reach 2021*.
As we entered the year, there was hope in the air. An unmistakable wave of excitement and anticipation as we started on this century’s roaring 20s…
Cue all hell breaking loose in what can only be described as a Judgement Day style turn of events.
It was a transition no one expected, and the hospitality industry has been hit hardest by the effects of Covid. Hospitality groups large and small, independents, restaurants, cafes, quick service eateries, bars and clubs have all had to face an uncertain future this year, with too many unfortunately having to make the heart-breaking decision to close their doors.
But like our man Arnie said, “we’ll be back”.
As offices started to close and that WFH life began, brands identified the need to offer a new way to socialise – especially for those of us that live for work drinks and competitive team building nights!
Now we’re in December and the ‘new normal’ doesn’t feel that new anymore (anyone else feel like March was 2 years ago? Same), and the virtual events that are on offer, quite literally, have something for everyone – and we’re not just talking the two thousand obligatory Zoom quizzes that we’ve all smiled and nodded through this year (who knew an octopus has three hearts?!).
Vagabond has virtual wine tasting perfect for any aspiring sommelier, Tom Kerridge has launched his at-home cook-a-long for those budding chefs, and for anyone less motivated by actually doing something for their Christmas party (apart from getting a little tipsy), there’s no end of ready-made cocktails, pre-prepared menus, virtual cheese tastings (erm, yes) and digital karaoke nights on offer.
Did we also mention that you can literally bake along with a Bake Off star through Bake with a Legend? Disclaimer: Paul Hollywood (unfortunately) cannot come to your house and judge your bakes.
The future might be uncertain, but thanks to the ingenuity of these and so many other brands, we’ve been able to cling onto one small element of pre-Covid normality and raise a glass to one another in celebration of the incredible hard work our team has done this year – whilst also saying ‘Good Riddance 2020’!