How The Staff Canteen adapted successfully amid the Coronavirus lockdown

The  Staff Canteen

At the end of March 2020, The Staff Canteen joined its members, followers and partners into the unknown as the country was locked down to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.

We knew we had to adapt our products to make sure we could keep delivering all the content our members and followers expected plus, we now needed to be even more inventive and creative to keep one step ahead of our competitors.

Despite the majority of The Staff Canteen team being on furlough we successfully produced new and innovative ideas to keep everyone who uses us on a day to day basis, informed as the crisis unfolded but also entertained. It was important to us that we offered everybody a welcome relief from the stress and pressure of Covid-19.

As a result of our ability to react quickly, think outside the box and our relationship with the hospitality industry’s biggest names, we were able to grow our social media platforms with over 19k new followers and website users were up 90% with an enormous increase in page views of 275%.

Our Lockdown Lock-in Live series produced a staggering 95k views and featured top chefs including Tom Kerridge, James Martin, Paul Ainsworth, Sat Bains, Angela Hartnett and Marcus Wareing - as you’ve never seen them before! In this virtual pub setting we asked them no holds barred questions and gave our followers the opportunity to interact directly using our Facebook comments.

This produced over 11.5k engagements. Coronavirus was and still is a real worry for the hospitality sector, The Staff Canteen collected all of the main topics of concern from those in the industry and produced a series of live panel debates with well-respected expert guests who discussed these issues offering support, answers and inspiration to all of our followers and members.

They had over 36k views and provided real insight from those experiencing the tough times brought on by lockdown. The team at The Staff Canteen enjoyed light-hearted fun over on Instagram with weekly ‘Top Ten Questions’ with the UK’s best chefs – these were filmed live and had a total of 54.5k views. We also continued to produce our weekly podcast Grilled and celebrated over 18k plays.

We always delivered the news, editorials, features, recipes and videos our members and followers expect. And we are pleased and proud to say we received many messages of thanks and support for staying consistent, approachable and entertaining despite the circumstances.

Our members and followers are what make The Staff Canteen what it is and we couldn’t produce what we do without them so thank you to everyone who continues to support us and our partners – The Staff Canteen really is the place to be if you want to be connected to chefs and food service professionals who are passionate about the hospitality industry and always want to support those who support them.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th July 2020

How The Staff Canteen adapted successfully amid the Coronavirus lockdown