Event Companies During Pandemic: Joann Roth-Oseary, SITK
As we continue to highlight event companies during the pandemic, today’s spotlight features Joann Roth-Oseary of Someone’s in the Kitchen (SITK). Joann is one of the top caterers in Los Angeles and in the business, with a staff of 35 full-time and 150 part-time employees. Joann has propelled Someone’s in the Kitchen to become a consistent member of the top 100 women-owned business in Los Angeles for the last 10 years.
Below, Joann shares how the COVID-19 Pandemic has been affecting business since we last spoke in the Spring during the Connecting Our Community Webinar.
How has your business been over the last several months?
From the first moments in the first 60 days when we were shall we say, “dead in the water”. We did manage to “pivot”, oy vey, and start to get a bit of traction with the deliveries on small orders for family meals.
Is there anything popular right now that wasn’t popular for you before the pandemic?
Although comfort was always a watchword, it is even more so. The mac n cheese and the fried chicken fly out the door! It’s to hell with diets and bring it all on! Also, we have quite a few Bar and Bat Mitzvahs that are zooming and we are sending 100-150 boxes out all over the country with contents for all to join in. One even had candy they all could throw at the screen and shout, Mazal Tov! Also, virtual fundraisers include deliveries so all can participate in a communal meal while they chat and donate.
What does the fall/winter look like for events in your area?
We are seeing a big boost back to life. People are tired of the political maneuvering of the shutdowns and we are doing smaller, real events. Socially distanced of course, but with the fun and togetherness aspect.
Safety measures: have you implemented anything specific safety-wise for your staff and/or clients?
For our live small events, we suggest to the client that all of their guests be COVID-19 tested in the week prior to the event so everyone feels comfortable. We stage our COVID-19 “station” at the entrance where we have a thermometer, mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, COVID-19 questionnaire, etc. All guests do not mask, all of our staff are at all times, masked, gloved, sometimes shields too, frequent breaks to take a breath, etc.
Has there been anything positive to come out of this extremely challenging time period for you and your business that you want to share with us?
It has been a time of great decision. Do we sink or do we swim? If you still want to be standing when the dust settles, you will not be taking your own salary, you will invest in keeping your core team going, and trying to stay positive and dumping your own money in to keep it afloat. We are seeing the light at the end of this tunnel and know that we will survive!. I keep singing myself the Bee Gees tune, ooh, ooh, ooh. Ohh, stayin alive, stayin alive!. Yes people WE WILL RISE AGAIN!