Innovation, resilience, gratitude and big wave surfing, the year that has been 2020

Normally at this time of the year I sit down and review all the events we catered for the year and list some crazy stats about how many potatoes, bottles of wine and number of canapes we have delivered throughout the year.

Without stating the obvious, 2020 has definitely been one year that we will look back on (hopefully) with some amount of awe and of lessons learnt. The year set out to be the busiest in our 21 year history and quickly became one of the most challenging.

In a year where we saw millions of dollars across our industry cancel in the second week of March, we really didn’t have an idea of where it was going. I recall conversations with my industry peers as we made cases to federal, state and local governments (pre any job keeper or seeker, or even before it hit the rest of the business world). I mused that if we could all hold on for three months (or some more sceptically suggesting six months) then all would be right in the world again.

 

gratitude

Gratitude, is something that I don’t think we spend enough time practicing.

As I write this, I am eternally grateful to my team who found themselves (all but two) without income or prospects of income in March. Who then stood by me and the business, who came back to rebuild on a fractions of their former salaries and that have now thankfully (nearly) returned to normal.

I am grateful to our clients new and old who have reached out to just “check in” and see how we are, who have sent emails with lines like: “I know you don’t normally do this but I thought there might be something in this for you”. 

If anything speaks truer of this year, it has been one of things that we haven’t done before.

To our colleagues and peers in this amazing industry that is the events and offsite catering industry, to see great people come together and see how they can help each other out, pass what small pieces of business there were to each other and keep in touch to make sure we all knew that we weren’t alone in this.

Thank you I am grateful for your support and friendship.

innovation

Creative burn is a term that I think best describes the better part of 2020 for Wine & Dine’m. This year we have envisioned, innovated, implemented and delivered ideas at break neck speed. Where previously an idea would form and then be work-shopped and come to market within 3 to 4 months.  This years timeline quickly became 4- 5 days from idea formation to inception. Below are just some of the innovations of the year.

We created home delivered gourmet meals within days of having the idea.

We developed a drive-in concept for movies in warehouses with our good mate Steve from Get Parked, delivering the first Broncos ‘drive in’ game.

Emma from Boldy came to us with an idea for supporting front line workers with meals and in the course of three weeks we delivered some 10,000 meals to those workers in hospitals from Toowoomba to the Gold Coast. #superfoodforsuperheros

One of our long-term clients engaged us on three occasions to simultaneously deliver hampers to 70 families from Southport to Noosa to Warwick and everywhere in between.

One of our previous staff reached out and asked if we could assist with providing quarantine meals for a hotel. Over the course of two months, our chefs prepared somewhere in the vicinity of 9,000 individual dinners for Queenslanders in quarantine.

The Canape Shop, our ready to serve ‘canapes in a box’ delivery service also came to reality during this time.  The idea for which started ten years ago, but COVID allowed us the time to focus and finesse the concept.

And amid all of the craziness, we were (fortunately) still able to celebrate love with many happy couples and their families, albeit a little differently.

Although we have seen a rapid increase in catering in the last six weeks, we have also seen a huge increase in the amount of packaging being requested due to the increase in individualized servings. After years of working to reduce the amount of single-use packaging, it is challenging to see it increase again. Our team hopes to work toward reducing, reusing and re-imagining how we can cater safely for you and your clients in 2021.

resilience

Personally, I feel like the year can best be described as paddling out for a surf and inadvertently dropping in on a 30 ft wave. Staring down the face of the wave with dread. Facing the fear of what was to come, and then actually coming out the other side without having my board break into pieces, or coming to any harm.

I am keen to ensure our magnificent team get a well-earned break over Christmas so we can come back once again and dust ourselves off, regroup, reinvent and continue to deliver great catering and offsite events.

I look forward to seeing and talking with you all in the new year.  

From all of us at Wine & Dine’m, we wish you a safe, happy and joyous festive season.

Cheers,

Craig Fox, Director

Wine & Dine’m Catering

Click on the video below to enjoy some of our favourite client memories this year

Are you a traditionalist or more of an Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber fan when it comes to rockin’ around the Christmas tree? Whichever you prefer, we’ve gift-wrapped two Spotify playlists for you to enjoy! Let us know which one you choose to get in the festive spirit this Christmas.