Over the past few months, many people have struggled financially due to the pandemic and mandatory shutdowns. We are all aware this meant that businesses were no longer able to operate and generate revenue, or were operating at a deficit.This was the honest reality for the entire hospitality industry. Not only did owners and operators suffer from the shutdown (or continue to do so), but so did their employees. Servers, bartenders and other restaurant and bar staff were unable to work or received minimal hours each week to assist with takeout and/or delivery. Many employees didn’t have this option and needed to rely on government subsidies or other funding. Our Sculpture Hospitality Consultants witnessed and experienced the struggles in their own regions, but didn’t sit back and accept it, they got creative.
Our company as a whole - reached out to customers and prospects to offer educational content, and assistance, to help prepare for when things started to get normal again - this was the foundation of our “Crisis Communication Program”.
During this initiative, we helped identify practical margin opportunities, where they could be losing money in their organization, and provided tips and to get their restaurant operational once the shutdown had been lifted, and more. We wanted to be there for our customers, to answer questions or even just to chat. And, we want to keep creating this type of content for our customers and prospects because we feel it is important to offer a helping hand.
The hospitality industry is robust, creative and innovative, and throughout this ordeal there have been many stories to share.
We’re really proud to say that our Consultants implemented some inventive ideas to make a difference in their regions during the pandemic. Here are just a few of the positive stories that show the contribution and the community spirit of Sculpture Consultants.
Location: Ohio, USA
Who: All Ohio-based Sculpture Consultants
Story: These Sculpture Consultants partnered with the local premium Ohio-made vodka company, Buckeye Vodka. Buckeye Vodka initiated a cause campaign in order to bring relief to Ohio’s bartenders who were affected by the pandemic and the mandatory shutdowns. The campaign consisted of a mixology video contest (using Buckeye Vodka) where consumers would comment and vote on the videos. On top of the initial campaign, the Sculpture Consultants plan to donate an additional dollar for each video engagement, up to $3,000. For more information on this fun campaign click here for the full article.
Location: Upstate/Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Who: Mark Miller, Robert Morton, Bob Hiller and other Consultants
Story: These Sculpture Consultants wanted to help their customers as well as the front line workers risking their lives during the pandemic. They went over some numbers in order to determine if any of their returning customers could benefit from a reduced audit fee. Some of the customers have been supplementing the lower auditing fees with gift cards, which these Consultants, in turn, plan to donate to frontline workers to support and thank them for their hard work.
Location: West Coast, USA and Canada
Who: Ian Foster
Story: This Sculpture Consultant acted as a true advocate for the bar and restaurant owners in his region and beyond, working hard to create some positive activity for the industry. He actively recommended that everyone reach out to their local governments to encourage that zoning for outdoor patio seating be expanded in order to accommodate more customers. He shared this recommendation to his clients, fellow industry players and with the entire Sculpture Franchise team and many followed suit.
Location: Wollongong New South Wales, Australia
Who: Daymien Clydesdale
Story: This Sculpture Consultant has been thinking outside of the box during the pandemic for different ways he can keep people connected. Below are two initiatives that he implemented and received lots of positive support from his community.
Hosting a Virtual Pub - Daymien started up a Facebook virtual pub called Social Distance Inn (@socialdistanceinn). On this platform, he engaged different venues in his area, promoted live music as well as trivia nights. He even had some of his hospitality contacts sponsor various promotional events, donating prizes in support of the Social Distance Inn.
The virtual pub has thousands of followers and Daymien is now recognized as the go-to guy for hospitality related issues in his region.
Hospitality Interviews - In addition to the Social Distance Inn, Daymien also ran a series of interviews with venue operators and owners within his region. He conducted interviews with some of his current Sculpture customers, as well as other hospitality players. These interviews were aired on his Sculpture Hospitality Facebook page - sharing relevant and helpful advice with his followers.
Location: Florida, USA
Who: Frank Castle & Julio Gonzalez
Story: During the pandemic, these Sculpture Consultants wanted to create a temporary solution that would help their customers and those associated stay safe during these unprecedented times.
Frank and Julio are offering internal COVID-19 audits/inspections based on their local regions health and safety social distancing guidelines. These inspections cover all areas that need to be reviewed during Phase 1 of reopening, from parking and valet to entrance/exit procedures, host stands to customer seating, and much more.
They will then take what they uncover during the inspection and create a report of actionable items that need to be completed ASAP to ensure a safe environment for staff and the restaurant’s customers. Not only did these two get creative, but they also did it in a way that is helpful for their customers to get up and running faster and safer when the green light is given.
Who: Brett Doyle
Story: Brett and his team have created an initiative called Dine To Unite, an online index of restaurants offering takeout during the shutdown. Dine To Unite supports local restaurant and hospitality businesses in Manila by sharing and showcasing favourite dishes for customers to order for takeaway. During a shutdown, the uncertainty for business is a nightmare, Brett created an innovative solution to help keep business flowing. Learn more about Dine To Unite here.
They also started an initiative at the beginning of the pandemic called FeedManila. Feed Manila helps to feed the communities neediest and homeless, while also keeping local restaurant workers employed. The team is paying local restaurants (through donations as well as personal contributions) to mass-produce 100-300 meals a day for the community. They have created a process to do this in a cost-effective way and, working with a partner, are able to get the meals distributed to those who need them most. To learn more about the Feed Manila initiative, click here.
Location: Alabama, USA
Who: Amber Lamote
Story: Prior to the shutdowns officially occurring, Amber had spent weeks researching ways to help her clients maintain profitability during what she knew was going to be an extremely difficult financial hardship for them. She provided information to current, previous, and potential clients on Federal and State loans, disaster relief, payroll solutions, state/county/city laws pertaining to to-go alcohol sales, and more. Amber kept constant communication going by participating in our Crisis Communication email program.
During the mandatory shutdown, Amber offered 100% free audits to her current clients to help identify revenue and cost-savings opportunities. She also offered her clients deferred payment options to ensure that their staff and vendors were paid. Towards the end of the mandatory shutdowns, Amber then offered returning clients the first 2 audits free, and the following 2 audits at a decreased rate. For those clients who had dropped the service during the shutdown, she offered them free discovery audits and discounted follow-up audits, and new incoming clients were also offered a discounted discovery audit.
Not only did Amber take care of her customers, but she also took care of her staff throughout the entire shutdown. She ensured that her employees were on payroll, and busy working on marketing or administration tasks, while auditing frequency was low.
Active on all fronts, Amber has been doing her part to stay positive, spread some cheer, and keep her community safely socializing through her weekly Virtual Happy Hour. She also located, obtained and donated PPE, including donating masks and hand-sanitizer, to all levels of current and previous clients.
At Sculpture, it is an understatement to say we are proud of our team. Our Consultants have done a tremendous job giving back and supporting their communities during this time. Even the smallest action is meaningful, especially during a time where the future is unknown.
The hospitality sector has shown time and time again that it has a big heart. We are all in this together, so let’s continue to give back and take care of each other.