2020. What a year it was. Many will be happy to have the past nine months in our rearview mirrors. There was much heartbreak, extreme challenges and unrest, both professionally and personally.
There’s no understating how immensely difficult this year has been. But if there’s one bright side to 2020, it’s been a really great learning opportunity. At the start of this pandemic, I found myself reading “The Splendid and the Vile” by Erik Larson. The book is about Winston Churchill’s leadership during the bombing of London during World War 2.
In the book, Churchill says: “It’s a grand life if we don’t weaken.” Or in other words be strong, stay smart, stay together, keep a positive outlook and we’ll all come through this on the other side.
Churchill by no means was sugarcoating the life-threatening and economically devastating reality that his constituents were in. But he knew it would take a certain moxie to pull his country through. That’s a sentiment I think we can all be empathic with right now.
During the past year, I’ve had the extreme pleasure to speak to many operators. There has been laughter. There have been tears. But the overarching feeling I leave every conversation with is this: Yes, things are tough, but we’ll get through this and we’ll be better on the other side.
Photo: Editor-in-chief Becky Schilling
Out of the many questions that need to be answered about how we move forward as an industry, there is innovation, creativity and new beginnings that are emerging. Out of the ashes rises the phoenix, if you will. This pandemic can be a rebirth in many ways. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, far from it. But what it does mean is that these challenges will give rise to a better industry.
True, it’s probably going to look different. But different doesn’t mean bad.
That sentiment was what brought about our feature story spotlighting the innovation, ideas and solutions that are keeping the industry running, communities fed and people employed. It also drove the creation of our Foodservice Heroes program, to highlight the great works so many in the onsite industry have done during this challenging year.
This year also marks a transition for the Food Management team. Throughout the pandemic we’ve found new ways to connect with you, our readers. You’ve shared your stories in personal essays, been guests on our weekly podcast, One On One With, and connected with us through video interviews. You’ve shown us throughout this year that you want to meet us in a digital space through our website, newsletters, social media and our digital leadership series this fall on Back To School.
So as we make plans for 2021, we will be amplifying our digital presence to better serve you when and where you want it and need it. That pivot—if there’s a buzzword for 2020 that’s a contender—means we are transitioning our communication to a completely digital means.
From all of us at Food Management, thank you for everything you’ve done to serve your communities during this crazy year—and for sharing your stories with us! We are excited for a new year and the possibilities and growth that come with that, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Here’s to 2021!