Make the Twenties Roar Again. Please! This is an ode to the days of yesteryear (or simply pre last year). The hospitality industry as a whole has taken one of the most significant hits due to our latest version of Spanish Flu. With the addition of a second round of PPP, upcoming SBA grants as well as the wonderous efforts of my friends at BNEG with the B-Strong Campaign / and “El Pres” aka Dave Portnoy using his undeniably colossal platform The Barstool Fund, to save small business, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
First and foremost, I wish everyone a healthy and happier 2020. We are all currently in survival mode, but the vaccine roll out allows us to hope for better simpler more enjoyable times. Restaurants, bars, lounges, hotels, live music venues are the fabric of our society, they are what makes America, the best place in the world. The variety and diversity changes from city to city, or even corner to corner and allow us to taste, feel, smell the world without leaving our neighborhoods. These places allow us to congregate and gather, discuss politics and sports, express our creativity our originality, speak to others meet new people or simply try different things. Boston is, and forever will be a major hub for our industry, and its beautiful backdrop is home to so many deliciously authentic and quintessential New England made homegrown, and global concepts. Even though I love myself a good national brand and big box company, I also fear being over inundated by too many of these, and diminishing the amounts of authentic mom and pop, or local chef driven concept or even an authentic sandwich shop.
Although most aspects of my business in the events world, have been decimated I see hope, opportunity, and the growth of our fine dining city exponentially. We have all adjusted and pivoted and become more efficient. People have learned to work with smaller margins less staff and use technology to do more. I for one took the time to dive into digital marketing, and out of an ask created a digital platform to create experiences for clients on zoom calls. What started as a simple ask or favor from a friend is soon to become a solid business this upcoming year. Out of necessity derives innovation. Innovation sparks opportunity. Opportunity will boost us into the next economic turn. We will have a boom and grow together, bigger, better and more enjoyable than before. Just as it did almost exactly 100 years ago, economic uncertainty, significant change eventually led to prosperity and the eventual upswing of society in many different field and industry. Very similarly to post World War I, we too will have our “Return to Normalcy”, this normal will be better than the one we knew. Creativity will flourish and we as a society will benefit tremendously.
I love to eat (I also enjoy a good cocktail or two). What I love to do more is host, and create and be a part of the process of the enjoyment of others. We will be dining together very soon. But until then, order in, take out and support local business. There have been many innovations, and many have put together some very creative offerings and specials and even regional delivery and pop-up systems, TAKE ADVANTAGE. So next time you scroll, poke around and see who is offering what, where, and take advantage. Order direct, take a drive and get out of the house to try something you may not regularly have even thought of doing before. Third party services are great for marketing purposes but do not help the profitability of a business during times like these, buy gift cards as gifts etc. And even if you can not eat our regularly, write a positive review for some of your favorite places, throw up a social media post every so often to help those business be at the forefront of peoples minds. SUPPORT LOCAL has never been so accessible and so needed, so please do so!
Let us be thankful, that despite all the bad there was also some opportunity to reset and get back in tune, and maybe realize maybe a little more than before, what matters in our lives. Not what we thought mattered, but was truly matters. Health, true friends and family.
Whether you are political or not. Infuriated with whats going on or overcautious and thankful. These are unprecedented times we live in, and it is important to stay thankful, humble and peaceful in society. We need to heal on many levels, but ultimately be a better humanity. I do believe for the most part our leaders had the intent of good will in decisions made, and sure mistakes were made along the way, but the responsibility is a heavy load to bare. We are a diverse society, that is selfish and in need of instant gratification as well because we have so much and have been used to so many freedoms. Just know that there is always another side or perspective where we still have more than most. Be kinder, nicer more cordial you never know how far that may go or resonate or even magnify and echo.
Looking forward to the Roaring 2020’s, maybe we can throw a party or simply dress the part going forward too! So Cheers! Cheers to you reading this, Cheers to all those who have struggles mentally, physically and emotionally. Cheers to all the small business owners doping everything in their power to keep their family’s fed, their staff employed and serve the community they reside in. And if anyone out there is having a hard time or just needs a person to talk to or a meal to eat, I challenge everyone to be more aware and help when they can. Maybe, just maybe we will all be able to cheers each other, in person at the end of this longest winter!
Frankie Stavrianopoulos started in hospitality in 1997 and has since expanded into corporate event planning, venue management, and lifestyle marketing. He is a Creative Director, and original thinker; and has been blessed to have worked with some of the most progressive companies and brands throughout Boston. Frankie also has a noticeable presence in both the Boston sports and nightlife scenes.