We knew that The Spoon’s first ever Virtual Strategy Summit would be around COVID-19. After all, the virus is the reason we had to make the summit virtual in the first place. And not to toot our own horn, but we didn’t realize how great it would be.
More than 1,300 people joined us yesterday to hear a number of experts talk about the impact of coronavirus on the food and restaurant world, and more importantly, what businesses in this industry should be doing to navigate these tumultuous times.
If you couldn’t make it, you’re in luck! The entire day is archived and available to watch here. And to give you a taste of what we talked about, here are some highlights:
- Restaurant owners need to act on the Paycheck Protection Program right now. Ryan Palmer, a lawyer with Lathrop GPM talked about the ins and out of the federal assistance program. TL;DR it’s complex, keeps changing and only has a limited amount of money, so restaurant owners need to read up and apply immediately.
- “Shapeshift,” and “break even” are the key terms for restaurants right now, according to Robert Egger, founder of DC Central Kitchen, and chef Mark Brand. While the panel didn’t pull any punches about the reality of the situation, they did say this dire situation was a chance for the industry to change for the better.
- So how does a restaurant adapt? Sterling Douglass, co-founder and CEO of POS integrator Chowly has helped a ton of restaurants transition to digital ordering and delivery. His advice? Prepare your staff, get set up with all the delivery companies, and get virtual.
But aside from the great talks throughout the day, part of the “fun,” if such a word is applicable given the seriousness of the topic, was the direct interaction with the people who virtually attended. We got a ton of great questions and comments and even though no one was in person, the whole day felt very much alive.
A big thank you to Kitchen United and Luncbox.io for helping make the day possible, and thank you to everyone who attended. Given how well the day went, and how likely it is that social distancing will continue into the foreseeable future, I’m sure we’ll be putting on another Virtual Summit soon. Hopefully on a much happier topic.
In this pandemic, people are turning to scratch cooking
We made our first loaf of homemade sourdough bread in the Albrecht house over the weekend. And from the data, or even a quick perusal of social media, we are not alone. In fact, we are more like a cliché at this point given the amount of scratch bread popping up on Instagram.
But even hard numbers back up that more people are making bread from home. Spoon Founder Mike Wolf dug into said numbers over the weekend and found that not only are searches for bread recipes spiking, but so are sales of bread makers. Since we’re stuck at home, we’re looking for a little comfort (food) in these uncertain times. As Mike wrote:
Naturally, part of the interest in making things like corn bread and cookies is due to most of us having more time on our hands, but I also have to wonder if the rapid growth in interest in things like making things like tortillas and basic bread is because some consumers worry they might have to make these staples at home for the foreseeable future.
Check out the full story and see if it hits home for you.
One-way aisles and no cashiers? What will grocery stores look like?
With most people sheltering in place, grocery e-commerce is surging. But when it’s okay to go back out in public, how many corona-inspired changes will remain at the grocery store?
Measures like plexiglass shields and one-way aisles are among the changes to grocery retail meant to limit both shoppers and the frontline workers from exposure to the virus. But once this pandemic recedes, should we get rid of them? They seem like pretty good, evergreen ideas, and could be helpful even during much more mild cold and flu seasons.
I thought about post-pandemic grocery shopping over the weekend, and would love your two cents on it. What changes do you think will be permanent part of our trips to the grocery store a year from now? Leave a comment and let us know!