As 2021 finally comes to an end, we’re thankful that we’ve been able to get together in the office again – brainstorming by zoom is not our favorite – and grateful for the hospitality industry clients that continue to trust us with their restaurant marketing, branding and social media during the ever-changing year behind us.
We look towards 2022 with hope and the knowledge that we’ll be continuing to rock and roll with changes that buffet the restaurant industry. But before we kick 2021 out the door, we want to share our good fortune with organizations that have helped our industry, our community and, frankly, the whole world. In lieu of holiday gifts, we’ve made donations to the following groups that are important to us.
Our six picks for 2021
No Us Without You These are some of the hardest working people I know and the backbone of the hospitality industry. The ones who aren’t seen, who we don’t think about, but continue to perform at a phenomenal pace. We see you! And appreciate everything you do.
Tree People Hiking is one of my favorite passions, and I’ve encountered numerous TreePeople employees spending their weekends planting trees on the local trails. Their hard work is helping to care for our ecosystem and what helps clean our air, reduce energy costs, provide food and shelter and more. The world needs more trees!
Surfrider Foundation The ocean has always been my strongest source of both inspiration and solace. As a surfer, protecting our coastlines is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve seen Surfrider’s impact up close over the years and I continue to support their foundation whenever possible.
All for Armenia The recent war between Armenia (& Artsakh) and Azerbaijan left thousands of Armenian refugees without basic needs. As a part of the Armenian diaspora, I’ve seen the incredible impact All For Armenia has on these families and Armenia as they begin to rebuild, again.
Inner-City Arts Growing up, the rare times we got to do art in class were the highlights of my experience. Charities like these give underserved LA kids that experience, which then unlocks their creative potential.
World Central Kitchen WCK doesn’t just feed communities when disaster strikes, although they’re usually the first on the ground to provide hot meals and start the long process of rebuilding the local restaurant industry. Beyond that, WCK is also attacking food insecurity, supporting independent women- and minority-owned restaurants, and training chefs.
After this year, six donations didn’t seem like enough, so we rounded up to ten:
Another Round, Another Rally – supporting the hospitality industry
Greenpeace – the planet can’t wait
Planned Parenthood – ‘nuff said
Water.org – safe water saves lives
And with that, a very happy, healthy, and safely masked new year!
You know what? This post, we’re not doing 6 picks. We’re going to do as many picks as we like because, damn it, this year we want to do things our way. We’re feeling empowered, and hopeful, and motivated, and straight-up ready to crush it in 2021!
Here’s what we’re feeling for this year:
“My hopes for the industry are to see some serious earmarked funds for independent restaurants. Also, it would be fun to see innovative uses of digital menus and QR code technology, to bring back some of sit-down personality that we’ve had to forgo. Truthfully, there’s nothing that will compare to finally sitting down at a wine bar again…
Non-work related, I’m determined to find some new music. Spent far too much time sitting in silence last year!”
“Humanity. Not on some grandiose Bill Gates philanthropic scale (thanks Bill for handling that). I’m looking forward to a boost in kindness and care for the people that are right there next to us. Looking out for our neighbors, our friends, family, and land. This year is going to be about doing right by the people and things you love.”
“Build a better restaurant industry. The impact on the restaurant industry from the pandemic can’t be overstated, and I can’t wait for it to be safe to return to dining – safe for everyone. Restaurants are our gathering places, our community centers, and I personally just want to sit at a table with my friends again.
January and February were a bit quiet as far as the extracurricular interests. Why? Cause it was frickin cold and we were frickin busy. Well, now things are warming up, both weather and work. That chilly veil is slowly lifting, revealing the bright and inspiring around us. See what we picked!
“I’ve been obsessing over Antonia’s illustrations for The Row DTLA because they’re funky, intricate, and remind me of paper cut out collages I used to make as a kid.”
“Psychic Wines: This lil Echo Park gem is a killer spot for natural wine, boasting a few inspiring qualities: 1. Curated “vegetal water” at sub-$30 price points, 2. Helpful, friendly staff who are still clearly way cooler than you, and 3. A monthly print zine.”
“I got into some kitchen painting this weekend and had the Gorillaz album, “The Now Now,” on repeat. This one was my favorite.”
“If Uno could be any more minimal it would be “0”, or it would just look this designed concept card deck that the internet prodded Mattel into producting.”
“I have always loved cooking the recipes from @halfbakedharvest but recently have been geeking over her food styling and photography – I feel like I can taste and smell it through the screen so… mission accomplished.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m inspired by the courage and collaboration involved in putting a moldy Whopper in an ad campaign.”
Now to the trends!
1. Extra Reality
2. Power Distribution
3. Reward the talent
4. More than just “like”
5. Return to nature
6. Embrace Individualism
Oh yeah, that environment we mentioned, well, it’s becoming even more personal. We are further able to adapt our surroundings and services to our individual needs creating purposeful interactions that are designed to suit us best.
We see tourists in Los Angeles year round, but our favorite time to host friends and family is fall, when temperatures dip into the low 70s, afternoons are sunny and crisp, and the season brings festive touches to all our local haunts – pumpkins at coffee shop doors, gourds aplenty at the farmers markets…we finally feel ready to hit the town instead of being holed up in AC with our blackout curtains up. With the outdoor temperature on-point for frolicking around in a scarf with hot coffee, here are six places you must visit in LA this fall.
We find inspiration all over – in billboards we see on the way to the office, in nature on our weekend hikes, in the grocery store on unique packaging (ok, ok, booze bottles). But obviously the source of most of our inspiration is online – from Pinterest to Tumblr to traditional blogs, we crave creativity from every corner of the web. So, we had two of our designers round up some of their favorite sites to they go to to help get their creative juices flowing. Continue Reading…
In Los Angeles, it takes constant reminders to realize that it is, in fact, December and the holidays are approaching at full speed. Things are hectic and before you hit that festive brick wall, there simply is not enough time to get into the holiday spirit. We have crafted a holiday playlist to help you get in the mood, don that ugly Christmas sweater and string up a few lights around the house. Oh, and this holiday music selection won’t make your ears bleed, from The Who to No Doubt, to a little Kaskade, there is some alternative holiday cheer here for everyone. Enjoy!
Hello friends. It may only be Wednesday, but this week has been long, right? No? Just us, then? Well, that’s fair. At any rate, we put a little playlist together for you to carry you through those days when the clients are humorless, the conference calls are tedious and the agendas are long. We tend to take the “laugh it off” tactic to scenarios such as those, so we may all sound maniacal, but at least we’re having a good time. Welcome to the madness.
For your listening pleasure, we’ve put together a little playlist for you, featuring a little questionable language. Our favorites are when the f-bombs come out of nowhere – happy, upbeat songs that toss one in or even a slower ballad-y situation that suddenly gets a bit more…emotive. Anyway, hope you enjoy this eclectic little mix (with headphones, if you’re in that type of office).