2020: The Year of the Pivot for Deborah Miller Catering
Let’s rewind by one year and recap for a moment.
It’s September 2019. Labor Day Weekend has just concluded and the unofficial start of fall is in full swing in New York City. Children are back in school, offices are full, Outlook calendars are booked, restaurant reservations seem harder to come by, and Fashion Week is underway. There is an unmistakable energy pulsing throughout the city.
The kick off to fall was always a new chapter for the Deborah Miller Catering team as well. Summer would still bustle with various meetings and events, but fall symbolized a 4-month sprint that would conclude with an extremely busy and fruitful holiday events season in December. If someone told our team that in September 2020, we would be kicking off a home delivery service after coming off the heels of a grassroots meal donation initiative, we would have probably chuckled and suggested you skip your next trip to the bar. The reality is, however, that Deborah Miller Catering is starting a new home delivery initiative shortly after putting together a GoFundMe campaign back in April to donate first responder meals throughout the NYC area. It’s not what we planned for, but it is what we are doing. More on that later.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the hospitality industry in ways no one could have ever imagined. The health and safety of society required individuals to stay in and refrain from socializing. Glamorous in-person events were out and virtual everything was in. Buffets at corporate meetings became a thing of the past…scratch that, meetings themselves became a thing of the past! The exact actions that would keep people safe were the actions that began to destroy Deborah Miller Catering’s business, and the businesses of so many others in the events and hospitality industry. The coronavirus pandemic is not the first storm that our team has endured. There have been a series of events over the last 20 years that have tested the strength of the Deborah Miller Catering, starting with 9/11. It goes without saying that September 11th affected the world and changed the global landscape as we know it, but it impacted the inhabitants of Lower Manhattan specifically as well, a neighborhood that Deborah Miller Catering always considered their backyard.
Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012 and once again brought unexpected trials to the DMC team, who had a kitchen on South St. Seaport that was completely flooded and destroyed by the storm surges. Time and time again, the team rebuilt and got back to doing what they do best, catering corporate meetings and producing full-service corporate events.
COVID-19 is the culmination of these events and is so much worse than 9/11 and Sandy combined, because there is no end in sight at this point. The virus hit the states in late February and all of New York City was under strict quarantine by mid-March. We are now 6 months past that point and the future is still unknown. Many corporations have enforced a work from home policy until mid-2021! It’s safe to say that we are not getting back to normal for at least another 6-9 months, and that is being optimistic. Continued financial aid from the government is at a standstill, with no agreement in place for any kind of additional stimulus for the events and hospitality industry after what was initially provided months ago. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation also concluded in July 2020, furthering the strain on employees already furloughed or laid off. Businesses like Deborah Miller Catering need support now more than ever, but all that lies on the horizon are more questions and more uncertainty.
So what does a small business do to try and stay afloat?
They pivot. This has become a hot word in 2020, as many businesses pivot from what they would normally do to what they need to do in order to survive this crisis. Deborah Miller Catering is no stranger to that. We pivoted once in April and prepared and delivered meals to hospitals and first responders on the front lines of COVID-19 through our donation initiative, Cater Because We Care. We raised over $27,000 in grassroots fundraising efforts in a span of 2 months and delivered over 2,500 meals!
Now in September, 6 months after the initial coronavirus outbreak, DMC is pivoting once again. We are working on a brand new initiative called Kitchen to Kitchen: a meal delivery program that delivers fresh, chef-prepared meals directly from our kitchen to a customer’s front door. Meal boxes consist of a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings, as well as various non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. DMC classics like our famous Kale & Date Salad or Braised Short Rib with Burgundy Reduction are on the offering as well with the same great taste and flavor!
Kitchen to Kitchen’s fully prepared meal delivery is ideal for those working from home who do not want to prepare 3 meals a day or for those slowly returning to work with less time on their hands. It’s also a wonderful appreciation gift for employers to provide for their employees as they power through their new style of work, whatever that might be. Finally, it’s absolutely excellent for those entertaining small groups within their home and would like to plate and serve dishes as if they prepared it themselves.
As New Yorkers remain socially distant, they’ve become more emotionally connected and have shown a more intimate side to themselves as they work from home. Deborah Miller Catering is getting up close and personal and changing with the times as well, and with your blessing, bringing our food straight to your door and into your home. Let our fresh food delivery service help you keep your fridge stocked and take the burden away from preparing multiple meals a day. Let us help you make a good impression in the coming months when the holidays might look a little different, but the idea of entertaining and being with loved ones is still paramount. Let us help you navigate this new normal with the universal language of food as we all pivot and mold in these uncertain times.
Get 50% off your first meal box delivery today with the promo code “SEPTEMBER50” and place your order today!