While the January blues and lockdown are no doubt getting everyone down, Wendy Bartlett is finding celebration wherever she can.
I know that, at the moment, with the news and the weather and you-know-what, it is difficult to see why there would be reasons to be cheerful. However, it's always good to try to see the positives in any situation, so I'm giving it my best shot.
First, although the weather is dull now, spring is literally here on our doorstep. I know spring must be coming as Easter eggs are already on the shelves and hot cross buns are being buttered. Spring will make a huge difference to our collective morale.
Second, I was really pleased to see that our industry got, unbelievably, but quite rightly, 90 minutes of focused time for the minister for hospitality debate. It has brought new attention to our industry and helped to shine a sensible light on the issues that the pandemic has created for us. While there is still some way to go, and whether we will actually get a minister is anybody's guess, but it is another significant step in helping to create one powerful voice in government.
It was remarkable to see the push so many made to get to a staggering 200,000-plus signatories of the petition. It goes to show the power we all have when working together. I'm sure I'm not alone in thanking all those who took the time to rally and get us over the line.
It was remarkable to see the push so many made to get to a staggering 200,000 plus signatories of the petition. It goes to show the power we all have when working together
Third, it is hard, but even in lockdown we all are trying to have some fun. We have had team Zoom quizzes, exercise groups and we are even about to have a chef showdown. So despite lockdown, we have the ability to connect and enjoy each other's company.
Entrepreneurialism and adaptability is rife – it's just amazing how people are turning their hands to save jobs and businesses, how people are staying connected and ensuring that they create the energy to stay afloat.
At Bartlett Mitchell, this month we launched Mosaic, a subscription-based catering model. It's a great example of how our teams are coming up with new ways of working to help tackle the challenges we are all facing.
With all this physical and social isolation bottling up, I think there will be a semi-explosion for the industry after lockdown – people will realise that meeting up with friends and being able to go out and socialise is part of the joys of life.
So once normal life returns, I'm sure people will be out spending and making up for the time they've lost socialising as a result of the pandemic.
On a personal note, I've discovered a new gin cocktail. I'll be sharing this and some more new-found skills with friends as soon as I'm able to.
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