Everyone's life is different now because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Coronavirus Diaries looks at how F&B industry leaders have adapted to the new normal. Here's Fuchsia Urban Thai co-founder and managing director Tanya Azmi's typical day.
9:00am: Given that we are working from home nowadays, I am getting an extra hour of sleep instead of waking up at 8:00am. Recently I decided to give up coffee for a bit so I like to kickstart my day with ginger and turmeric tea instead.
9:30am: I usually start by streaming an online workout to make sure my day begins with physical activity (the Sweat app is fantastic). It really helps build up energy for the rest of the day. While I work out on the regular in any case, I feel like it’s even more important nowadays given that we’re at home. I usually follow up my work out with a chocolatey protein shake of some of my favorite ingredients including protein powder, frozen bananas, spinach, almond milk, and lots of peanut butter.
11am: This is when I get on a Zoom meeting with my team to make sure all is set from our Bay Square and Barsha Heights locations for deliveries. We also discuss any new regulations and restrictions that might have come in and how to implement them. For example, transporting our kitchen team nowadays with required permits and limited members per taxi is a true logistical project every morning so we revisit this every day to make sure the team is on their stations safe and on-time to get ready for a day of deliveries.
11:30am: I allow myself roughly 30 minutes to catch up on global news as well as news in the UAE. Instead of fixating too much on the increase in numbers, I try to look for some positive stories during this session as well since it motivates me.
12:00pm: I dedicate a slot to respond to all emails and follow up with suppliers and vendors which is very dynamic nowadays given changes of regulations every day. I have to get in touch with all suppliers to ensure that our planned supplies will arrive in time and what needs to be done as a replacement if delays are expected.
1:30pm: This hour is usually dedicated to external teams like social media, PR and design to brainstorm potential ideas and discuss how our communications strategy can be better adapted to current times.
3:00pm: This is a quality check hour and also when I receive my lunch from Fuchsia. I try to make different orders every day to ensure that all products going out of the kitchen are receiving extra attention and love from the team at Fuchsia.
A silver lining to current restrictions is that we’re finally getting around to doing things we never really had the time to do before. This has a lot to do with experimenting in the kitchen and I use the quality check hour to try out any new items that chef has created and note down any feedback to share with the team in the following meeting.
This has proven to be a great way to keep all of us motivated and innovative to make sure Fuchsia always keeps coming up with new items to add to our experience.
4:00pm: This is when I reconnect on two separate calls with teams from the two locations to get feedback on how the day went in each location.
4:30pm: At this hour we conduct a collective meeting of all teams from both locations and is dedicated to discussing how we can better Fuchsia and our business model in these current times. We always wanted to implement cross training for our staff that has taken an interest in the kitchen in the past and now that we finally have the time, we’re using it to add on to their skill set specially given that there are no dine in customers at the moment
Having a cross trained staff is great in this time, as it unveils to me hidden potential that exists in my own team and keeps everyone motivated through a state of constant learning.
Since these meetings are quite open-ended, I tend to enjoy them the most.
6:00pm: With so many free online classes nowadays it’s an awesome opportunity to sign up for something - I signed up for a marketing class and it’s a great way to learn something new or brush up on skills.
7:30pm: I’m pretty ready to wind down by 7:30. I spend some time playing with Digby (my Havanese pup), Zoom with my family back home and figure out what I want to cook for dinner while also planning what to watch on Netflix.
8:00 pm: Time to cozy up and have dinner with the Gilmore Girls (hahaha its old I know but I’m re-watching it and loving it!)
9:30pm: One of the positives of being at home is being able to catch up with my friends irrespective of where they live. 9:30pm usually works irrespective of time zone so we all get on House Party and check in with each other – it’s a great way to feel supported and to know that we’re all in this together.
10.30pm: A final check with the Team on Slack to check how the day went in both locations as closing time approaches.
11:00pm: A quick reading session before bed really helps me relax - currently reading Conversations with Friends by Susan Rooney