Blog Post / January 22, 2021 / SevenRooms News

2020 Year in Review: Reflections on Resilience

by Joel Montaniel

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:

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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... 

Our operator partners across the globe innovated in new ways...

  1. 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
  2. MGM Resorts spearheaded the contactless and virtual guest experience revolution at their properties throughout Las Vegas
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

... And our team found new ways to come together outside the office

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About the Author

Joel Montaniel is the CEO & Co-Founder of SevenRooms, where he leads business strategy and sales. Prior to founding SevenRooms in 2011, Montaniel served as Chief of Staff at LivePerson, leading strategic, operational and cultural initiatives. He started his career at Credit Suisse within the Real Estate, Finance & Securitization Group. He graduated with a B.A. from Georgetown University.


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