Attendees at December’s Good Day Productions launch event said that social hosting was their number one choice for the second event. Well, there’s a surprise – it’s what you guys do best. Forty foodservice and supplier members keen to discover how to make the very best use of one of their most valuable assets – their space – gathered for the tricks of the trade at OXO Tower Restaurant Brasserie and Bar.
Rather than just throwing open the doors to all-comers, Eva Arnaiz, Head of Charities and Communities, and Good Day Productions’ driving force, set out some of the golden rules for ensuring everyone gets the best out of hosting.
These helped contextualise the inspiring examples, movingly recounted by our host at OXO, Andrea Zick, north London education charity Inspire and Women for Refugee Women.
Rule number one is understanding the issues of the group you’re hosting. So, if via Inspire, you welcome in 30 primary school children to enthuse them about the joys of the hospitality industry, you’ll need to be aware of certain constraints! Equally, if like The Breakfast Club you host a number of groups of elderly people, it’s good to take heed of what their users have to say. They always come early, they don’t eat loads so offer doggy bags, they’re forgetful and LOVE to meet young people as they’re fed up of fellow oldies!
Eva is clear that the impact of hosting isn’t always measurable and quantifiable, but anecdotally, in human terms it can be huge – both for those people who come and meet in your venue and for the staff who get to meet and interact with them – whether you offer them time, food, drink, a space or all of the above.
Marchu Girma, Grassroots Director of Women for Refugee Women, reported that simply being able to access a new, hospitable place with friendly welcoming people at TBC, had a transformative effect on a group of refugee women.
Staff at OXO Tower were smiling for a week after 30 schoolchildren visited, reminded of the special skills they have and the amazing industry they work in, according to Andrea.
If you’re starting from scratch and not sure where to look to find organisations that would really benefit from using your venue, then help is at hand.
The next phase of Good Day Productions is a step closer. A Tinder-style website, matchmaking restaurants and community groups that need help is under construction. With your multi-talented workforce you may well be able to offer time and expertise too – following in the footsteps of excellent volunteering schemes like The Breakfast Club’s and others. Watch this space!
And, at the next Good Day Productions event in July we’ll be focusing on socially inclusive recruitment – the other big thing you can do to aid your community – provide employment for those find it hard to access.
Hopefully this blog has nudged you to think about whose day can make and how.