From the Editor: The Other Side

Photo by Nick Wong

A few years ago, when we launched a special theme for our March issue called “Challenges and Opportunities,” it was our way to highlight that not all problems are catastrophic, even when they may appear to be and, in fact, we can often turn a challenge into a viable opportunity for growth. Sometimes all it takes to tackle a thorny issue is to look at it through a different lens.

Interestingly, by choosing to look at a challenge this way, we sometimes open ourselves up to see new possibilities. And, by facing it head on, we not only survive, but thrive in ways never imagined. That’s the beauty of possibilities — they open the door to new and unexpected realities.

Of course, a year after COVID-19 surfaced and shook us to our very core, looking at a challenge through the lens of positivity isn’t an easy undertaking. Suddenly, the challenges we once viewed as serious threats now seem to pale in comparison. Some days, the very act of getting out of bed to face a new day is in itself an overwhelming challenge for many. Certainly, COVID-19 has decimated the industry, forcing many operators to shutter their businesses, leaving others to wipe out their savings, while turning somersaults to keep it going, while others still pivot to new revenue streams. COVID-19 has also forced the industry to pause, to reflect and to re-set and, while painful, it’s also been a necessary exercise to bring us to the other side and ultimately build an even stronger industry with a firmer foundation in place. Just as previous generations have looked back at various global events such as World War I and II, as well as the Great Depression, as significant touchpoints in their lives, one day we will look back on this time and share stories of significant loss and tremendous learning and growth.

The challenges of living through a pandemic have forced us to perform differently. In the franchise community, franchisors suddenly needed to step up to become more supportive of their franchisees — whether it’s by putting franchise fees on hold, being more communicative and resourceful and even attempting new practices. And, in some cases, some franchisees even managed to prosper during this tumultuous time.

Seems hard to believe today, amidst the chaos and the fear, but one day in the not-so-distant future, this too shall pass. As intimidating, perplexing and destructive as COVID-19 has been, dealing with it has taught us invaluable lessons that will
ultimately make us stronger, more resilient and, as always,ready for any challenge.

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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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