From the Editor: And Just Like That


With 2021 now a stark reality many of us would prefer to forget, we stand on the precipice of a new year filled with hope for better days to come. After struggling with COVID-19 for almost two years, late last year many of us began to feel slightly more optimistic about moving forward as case counts started to tumble, leading restrictions to ease and travel to resume. But just as we were feeling relief, we’re now once again dealing with new travel and capacity restrictions, fuelled by surging numbers of the Omicron variant. And just like that, we’re left to wonder when this nightmare will be over?

The past two years have been unprecedented as we’ve watched the pandemic claim the lives of five million people around the world. South of the border, more than 800,000 lives were lost, while in Canada, 30,000 people succumbed to COVID-19.

While the world has fallen into a deep abyss, the foodservice industry has been amongst the hardest-hit businesses. And now, with a new year unfolding, the industry needs to pick up the pieces and put itself back together again. It’s a daunting task, as many operators struggled to keep their doors open amidst decreasing customer counts, changing government regulations, fear of new variants and a labour shortage.

Where does one start to build back better, when so much has been destroyed? And, how can businesses attempt recovery when they just don’t have enough staff to take care of customers? Winston Churchill is credited with many famous quotes including, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” But perhaps he said it best when he stated: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

We’ve heard ad nauseum that the restaurant business model is flawed, and the mass exodus of employees substantiates this. Employees no longer want to be part of a flawed system. They’re seeking better wages and better work-life balance elsewhere, leaving a huge vacuum for operators that will be hard to fill.

With a new year upon us, the work now begins and operators need to do a deep dive into their businesses to ensure they not only survive, but thrive. Among the questions operators need to ask are: How can they get the best from their workplaces by using flexible and hybrid approaches? How can they can build a culture of growth and empowerment and ensure employee wellness? How can they ensure inclusion and equity in the workplace? How can they make the work world actionable rather than aspirational and how can they successfully navigate the return to the workplace? Answering these questions sooner rather than later will help operators get to the other side.

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Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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