From the Editor: United We Stand

Photo by Nick Wong

With each passing day, the war against COVID-19 intensifies. The number of casualties increases, the fear intensifies and our lives change inalterably.

In only a few short weeks, the world as we know it has forever altered. Who could have imagined that we would be living through what seems like a bad science-fiction movie? No individual or business has been spared by the onslaught, with many businesses forced to close, leaving operators to question how they will pay their rents, mortgages and bills. For the foodservice-and-hospitality industry, the fall-out is seismic. According to the NPD Group, in a matter of a few weeks, 10 per cent of the industry’s restaurants disappeared from the landscape, representing about 7,000 units — more than what closed in the previous decade. And the closures have produced spinoff effects for several other groups that service the industry — food, beverage and equipment suppliers have all felt the impact.

As we navigate the new normal, we continue to learn new lessons and turn increasingly to government for direction and financial aid. Through the despair, we’ve been surprised by our capacity to care, realizing we gain strength by standing together. It’s during moments like these we’re reminded humanity trumps everything.

As our businesses become impacted and vulnerable, we come to realize and better understand that it’s only by working together that we can survive and, ultimately, emerge stronger.

Like other businesses, KML has had to make changes in the way we operate. Since March 12th, our staff has been working remotely, taking advantage of technology to help us stay connected and creative. In an effort to keep our readers informed of the myriad changes fuelled by COVID-19, we increased the frequency of our Hospitality Headlines e-newsletter from weekly to daily. We also made the leap to a digital publication for the short term (May, June and July/August issues). Though this decision makes sense on many fronts, it’s nonetheless a huge departure, as it represents the first time our magazine has been forced to suspend any of its print editions in our history, which spans more than 50 years. We’ve also been forced to reschedule our fledgling VISION 2020 conference from our scheduled date of April 21, to a later date, still to be determined. Lastly, and unfortunately, like so many businesses, we’ve had to lay off a few of our staff for the next few months until we return to “normal.”

Until then, let’s do our part to work together, support one another and, more importantly, let’s hope this crisis has given us pause to learn some hard truths and lessons about what’s really important in our lives. And, let’s hope we don’t soon forget them. Stay safe.

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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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