Over the past 142 years, The Caterer has charted the hospitality industry's passage through two world wars, the introduction of electricity and the motor car into mainstream society and, most recently, Brexit.
We've reported on the rise of the industry, from César Ritz opening his first hotel in London in 1906, to the many brilliant restaurant and hotel brands that are admired the world over, to the wonderful, diverse position British hospitality stands in today.
However, what is happening right now in front of our very eyes – as restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars are forced to close their doors to stem the spread of coronavirus – is completely unprecedented.
I wrote last week that the industry needed leadership and support from government. On Friday evening, chancellor Rishi Sunak answered these calls when he announced his support package to cover 80% of wages for the next three months.
He gave you a fighting chance of surviving this storm, and we will call for this support to be delivered promptly to save as many hospitality livelihoods as possible.
This week's issue of The Caterer is dedicated to how businesses are fighting back, doing whatever it takes to not just survive, but return in better shape than ever.
We are sharing stories of the positive steps and innovative action being taken by businesses to support those working in the sector, as well as their local communities.
We've created an advice hub for operators and employees, putting your questions to experts from all corners of the industry. If you have a question you want answered, tell the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're breaking the news as it happens and explaining what the facts mean for you. If you haven't done so already, I would urge you to sign up for The Caterer's regular email alerts, including the daily Breakfast Briefing, so we can send news and analysis straight to your inbox as it happens.
The Caterer also has a suite of events designed to share best practice advice and tips that will help your business grow. This Thursday 26 March, we are trialling a new event format with a Social Media Summit webinar. With the nation only able to engage with your brand online for the time being, it will be important that hospitality businesses retain visibility through social media, where they can offer support and interaction to future guests. To find out more about joining, click here.
The Caterer has had your back for 142 years and, as the industry faces up to one of the greatest challenges it has experienced in that time, we will continue to do all we can to ensure the industry has the resources to stand smiling to welcome guests once again.
Photo credit: Shutterstock