Reasons to be cheerful...

Reasons to be cheerful...

25th January 2021

On Sunday morning I woke up to snow falling outside my bedroom window. I sat with my (slightly confused) dog just watching the ground turn white while listening to the excited local kids playing outside.

I realised that for the first time in as long as I can remember I could just sit and enjoy watching the scene.

In the past, just the very threat of snow triggered mild panic – tube delays on the way to the office followed by meeting after meeting with labour forecasts needing to be urgently adjusted, orders and food prep levels slashed, and budgets reforecast. Put simply – snow was bad for business.

Given the devastating and unforeseen impact on the industry the current pandemic has wrought, with looking back it seems almost trivial to be so concerned about a day or where the business may be quieter than usual?

It’s incredibly difficult to look over the events of the past year positively (certainly from a professional perspective) with most, if not all hospitality businesses having had to close (some regrettably for good) or at the very least to rethink and redesign their business model with no certainty over when the industry will even start to edge back towards what used to be known as ‘normal’ or indeed a time when a light snow flurry once again becomes the biggest concern for our

So what does this have to do with snow? In a word - gratitude.

Today, I could just enjoy the moment. No impact on sales to consider, no hastily convened meetings or conference calls. Just me, my dog and the snow. (My husband decided a little light dusting wouldn’t prevent his morning run…)

Whilst it’s easy (and natural) for us to focus on the negatives – the bleak news headlines, lost sales, lost or uncertain jobs and never-ending social isolation – maybe it’s an opportunity to use the time to appreciate the positives.

There will be times when it might be hard to find something positive but I can’t recommend enough finding the time each morning and every evening to think of (or even better - write down) 3 things you’re grateful for.

It might be friends, family, food in the fridge, a great book/album/podcast, a roof over your head, your pet(s) or even snow…

I think you’ll notice a subtle change in your mood day by day.
By bringing some positivity into our thoughts, it’ll leave less room for negativity and instead allow us to appreciate all the good things happening right now.

Keeping on a positive there, I wanted to share a little more
in the shape of some friends/connections and some the great things they’ve been up to during the pandemic to spread their own chunk of positivity that we should all be grateful for:

  • Greg Mangham and the team at Only A Pavement Away (find out more here) – their campaign during the pandemic has seen over £800k of food donated by the hospitality industry to support homeless people at thismost challenging of times.
  • Chris Fletcher and Kieron (AKA The Boy) Bailey at EXP101 who’ve kept us entertained, informed and amused during the last year – from rallying incredibly talented restaurant folk to participate in the livestream of Hospitality Aid (to support Hospitality Action) to broadcasting podcasts and videos, even a Christmas Zoom quiz all before they launched their amazing (and free!) website this week.
  • Marcus Weedon at Milestone Recruitment who has been offering free invaluable help and support to those who’ve found themselves looking for new roles – from interview technique to updating their CVs and more besides.
  • James Watt and the team at Brewdog who not only have offered their bars as potential vaccination centres (along with a complimentary pint to
    celebrate!) but also giving away free beers…
  • The team at Too Good To Go who’ve had their job of saving food going to waste see new challenges (and opportunities) throughout lockdowns, various tiers and uncertainty.
  • And finally, everyone involved with The Burnt Chef Project for their inspiring work to eradicate the stigma around mental health in hospitality (they’re
    currently looking for corporate sponsors if you or someone you know can help)

There are many, many more heroes out there doing amazing and positive things – let me know of others you’d like to be recognised – so today let’s find the time to be grateful

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

WH Davies


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