Blog / January 22, 2021
2020 Year in Review: Reflections on Resilience
Heading into 2020, no one could have predicted what was in store for the hospitality industry. When COVID-19 hit the U.S. in early March, businesses across the globe were already shuttering and employees were sent home as the pandemic turned everyday life upside down, seemingly overnight.
Despite these challenges, you continued to do what you do best — serving your communities, feeding the frontline, adapting quickly to delivery and pickup only models after government-mandated closures, and creating new standards for health and safety to welcome guests back and keep your teams safe.
We were so inspired by the resourcefulness of the industry this year and your unwavering resolve. This year tested limits and pushed us to overcome stumbling blocks with creativity, innovation and collaboration. It has been a privilege to support and work with all of you during these unprecedented times.
Through it all, we doubled down on our commitment to being a true partner to you and to the industry. In 2020, we’re proud to have provided financial support, generated incremental dollars that went directly back to you, and introduced new products on our platform to help you connect with your guests and safeguard your teams. This included:
- Subsidizing over $10M in licensing fees for our clients to reduce financial hardship and give back to an industry that has given so much to us
- Facilitating conversations and content with global operators related to COVID-19 best practices and how-tos, providing a resource to tens of thousands of operators across the world
- Generating over $100M in incremental revenue directly for our clients through the platform, driven by our commission-free online ordering and marketing automation product
- Launching the first and only fully-integrated guest experience platform connecting data across delivery, pickup, and dine-in to provide a 360-degree view of guests — with a robust CRM and marketing automation tools to drive more repeat business, more often
- Developing and debuting new products for restaurants to reopen safely and drive new revenue streams, including the introduction of Online Ordering, Contactless Guest Experience Pages, Virtual Waitlists & Check-In, and Contact Tracing tools
- Introducing an Externship Program where hospitality industry veterans could leverage their experience to gain new skills in the tech sector, with our first class graduating from the program in December 2020
- Donating time and resources to an array of organizations supporting the industry, including the NYC Hospitality Alliance, James Beard Foundation, Frontline Foods, Independent Restaurant Coalition, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, Emma’s Torch, and NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund
Entering 2021, our mission hasn’t changed, just the importance of it. We’ll stay focused on empowering operators to create meaningful relationships with their guests and deliver those exceptional experiences that keep guests coming back again and again.
This is the year we come together even more to push forward and carve out a new future for the hospitality industry. We could not be more proud of this industry, of all the work our team has done, and all that remains to be done as we kick off 2021. Thank you for trusting us and bringing us along on this journey with you.
Joel Montaniel, CEO & Co-Founder
Here’s a by-the-numbers snapshot of all we achieved in 2020…
- 1 fully-integrated guest experience platform across delivery, pick-up and dine-in experiences — leveraging a robust CRM and powerful marketing automation tools
- 20+ new integrations completed by our Product team
- 2 Best Places to Work Awards from Forbes and Inc. applauding our culture & company
- $50M Series B funding to help us bring our world-class platform to more hospitality businesses while ensuring we would be here to support you in the years to come
- 23,507 Zoom meetings held by SevenRooms employees, accounting for 3,142,086 minutes spent talking with clients and partners across the globe
- 2,878,654 Slack messages sent by our team while working from home
- 50+ cities our team lived in over the course of 2020
Our operator partners across the globe innovated in new ways…
- Black Sheep Restaurants in Hong Kong lead the pack by providing the first framework for COVID-19-related operational safety and health standards — offering their playbook as a free resource to restaurant operators throughout the world
- MGM Resorts spearheaded the contactless and virtual guest experience revolution at their properties throughout Las Vegas
- Cote Korean Steakhouse brought new experiences into guest’s homes with the introduction of their somm wine selections spearheaded by Sommelier Victoria James, enabling guests ordering from home to enter a tasting profile for a personally-selected bottle of wine.
- Innovative Dining Group in Los Angeles and The Orpington in London didn’t let in-person dining shutdowns make their food go to waste, shifting their concepts to sell groceries and at-home meal kits to customers, facilitated by online ordering and reservation technology.
- BLACKBARN, IGC Hospitality and other operators throughout the US worked closely with Frontline Foods to provide delicious meals to doctors and nurses in hospitals dealing with surging COVID-19 cases
- Bubbles, greenhouses, sheds, chalets and tents – oh my! ALL our operators got creative with outdoor dining to keep their guests cozy and warm over the cold fall and winter months.
- No movie theaters, no problem! The Standard, High Line brought ‘Pix on the Plaza’ to life with weekly outdoor movie screenings of fan favorites and cult classics. With food and beverage provided by The Standard Grill, guests grazed and imbibed while catching their favorite flicks.
- Partners including HIDE and Corbin & King in London brought their top-tier menus to life for diners at home, providing high-quality meals that recreated their on-site dining experiences