Today, it would be pure speculation to try and evaluate just how the hospitality industry will fare in the wake of the Corona virus. No matter how many webinars we attend or however many industry experts weigh in, the eventual truth remains that none of us will know how to react to the situation till we are in a position to actually engage actively.
Some businesses have managed to pivot – starting home delivery, conducting online classes – but these are more a survival tactic than a successful integration into a new vertical. Also let’s not forget that the consumer is not in a hurry to start spending like before so the traction for all such endeavours remains fragmented and minimal.
And yet, hope is such a thing that in spite of knowing just how dire these times are, we still cling on and try to formulate ideas and new beginnings. We at IWBS are ZOOM-ing away to keep our #52Drinks52Weeks video-series going and might even roll out some online courses in the not-too-distant future although frankly, without the practical tasting exercises, they won’t feel as complete.
What we can say for certain is that the hospitality industry may not get to restart from scratch till as late as the third quarter of this year, and even then, it will be rather limited in its range of services being offered. Restaurants and standalone outlets will most likely take even longer to get the go-ahead. In other words, a significant part of 2020 will be spent sitting indoors ruminating ways to stretch our savings and finding novel ways to occupy ourselves.
This is a good time for philanthropy though – sharing your knowledge and experiences seems to be the mantra all around and I have seen more of winemakers around the world on online chats than probably had last year through all my travels. In a way, this can be the much needed learning and revitalising break we all needed, even Mother Nature. Sadly, it doesn’t come at our behest or in a manner where we can get to choose so it is crucial that we find ways to feel pleasantly and positively occupied and invested in whatever we choose to fill our time with. I know this might sound a bit cheeky but I have never been so glad to have a ready stash of alcohol to dip into whenever I need through these hard times.
As for the rest, if you haven’t started making your own sourdough or brewing your beer yet, there will be no better time to try either. Or both!