Socials. Those team hangouts focused on strengthening relationships by getting to know each other (outside of work). At WalkIn, we know that having strong bonds between all of us as individuals makes us more happy to come to work everyday, excited to share ideas and more empathic when we listen. All of this creates a stronger unit as we fight for a future where you don’t have to queue and can get a table anytime; anywhere ⚔️
At the start of this year, we knew we needed to get more organised with our socials 🐬 Ad hoc outings and sporadic restaurant dinners to celebrate a new WalkInite joining just wasn’t cutting it. We weren’t setting aside enough time to invest in each other! As much as we could spend hours talking about queue management, virtual queuing and restaurant management systems, the social side of knowing each other is a vital part of being a great team.
COVID-19 has forced us to change our thinking on a lot of fronts: how can we help restaurants be covid-19 safe on reopening, how can we show support for our restaurants right now and how can we maintain that social connection we’ve been working so hard on, while being physically further apart from each other? 💒
Taking advantage of Google Hangout, we realised socialising online presented new, fun and weird opportunities. We knew we wanted to support our local restaurants but the most classic way of doing so, by delivery, wasn’t affordable or even possible for most of us on a weekly basis.
So, we decided if we couldn’t bring the food to us, we’d make the food ourselves...
The rules were simple: every WalkInite picks a restaurant and either a main or a dessert they wanted to recreate. Dishes would have to be presentable by 20:30 on Thursday April 2nd and ready to be judged (based on everything but taste 🤪) by the legendary GM of Padella, Matt Kavanaugh and Co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, James Elliot 🔥
We had to get as many restaurants involved as possible so the earlier you submitted your entry the more likely you’d get your first pick of restaurant. Frazer opted for Pizza Pilgrims' Nutella Ring, Maggie for Mildred’s Sri Lanken Curry, Amos for Eggbreak’s Bacon Sandwich, Luca for Shoryu Ramen’s Ramen, Charlie for The Breakfast Club’s Chicken Nachos, Molly for Padella’s Rhubarb and Almond Tart and Archie for Blacklock’s White Chocolate Cheesecake 🍰
Once we’d chosen our restaurants and dishes, most of us put the Stay in Bake to the back of our minds as we focused on queues and helping restaurants reopen Covid-19 safe. As you can imagine, on April 2nd this proved to be a bit of a “doozy” (as Frazer would say). With lockdown London turning everyone into stay at home chefs, getting into the supermarkets, let alone getting key ingredients became a big part of the challenge, see below...
(Yep....we all have Star Wars aliases 😎)
At 7pm we all jumped on a Google Hangout call, dressed to impress obviously 😉… With all of us at different stages, the pressure was on. Molly was yet to put her cake in the oven, Amos was on his second batch having already tested one earlier, Fraz still had a lot of dough work cut out for him and baking time, Archie’s cheesecake required no baking time so he was left to leisurely sprinkle white choc, Mags had to cook the whole meal and Charlie was pretty much chilling in his Mexican transformed dining room.
By 8:30pm James and Matt joined the call ready to judge. We all took turns trying to win them over, but ultimately Frazer’s culinary effort, Nutella Ring aesthetic (and biased opinion by James, what? Who said that?) won him the grand slam title of WINNER 🏆
While we’ve fortunately had a lot of work recently with restaurants and retailers as we help as many businesses as possible reopen Covid-19 safe, we missed our Stay in Bake for May, so we’ll be doing our next #StayinBake on June 2nd when our newest WalkInite member will be joining us 🕺🎉
Love, the WalkIn team 💙