Falling in love during lockdown

At 12pm on Monday 23rd March we closed our doors for Lockdown One. What an absolute shit storm, pardon the language but it’s the only word that fits!

I didn’t cope very well. Tears were working overtime that day, with every kind word and every hug from my team, they would dance their way down my cheeks. My mind was numb, I couldn’t think properly and I found it very overwhelming. We tried to sit down and talk about takeaway and menu ideas etc, but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Instead I closed the doors and gifted myself a few days to digest what was happening. I’ll be honest and say I went straight for the wine, tracksuit and comforts of home with those bloody tears in tow the entire time.

It was the best thing I could have done. We reflected and we digested our new norm. We didn’t know how long this would last or how it would impact the business financially but we did know that we needed some time to think it all through. We didn’t want to react without clarity and purpose.

It was during this time that I fell totally in love with my business all over again. I felt compelled to protect her, to be her ambassador and to ensure that she reopened with purpose to do what she does best. There was no way I was going to let this lockdown ruin a business we had built up, over seven years, at least not without a fight. I whipped off the tracksuit, put the wine away and went about the planning for a reopening.

The first and most important matter at hand was our team. We invited them all in to the venue to take home produce that we knew we couldn’t sell. Rather than waste the food we gave it away. This was a humbling experience and fuelled us to reopen with purpose and get them back to work.

A lifeline was thrown by the federal government in the guise of JobKeeper. A wage subsidy that would allow us to bring our team back with the Government absorbing a portion of this significant cost. Everyone who was eligible, about 70% of our team, were called and without hesitation were confirmed to return to work.