Dishcraft has always been about people, about creating better environments and opportunities by harnessing technology to solve problems. This year’s unprecedented events have tested us all, and we’ve lost far too many along the way. But it also forced us to revisit our priorities, goals, and ideals, and in doing so, underscored the importance of Dishcraft’s people-focused mission.
That’s why this Thanksgiving, gratitude marks our experiences.
Despite the extraordinary nature of 2020, Dishcraft remains on course, dedicated to our goal of making a positive difference in the world across numerous fronts. We firmly believe that companies can be for-profit while still doing good, contributing new ideas and innovative solutions while working towards a better future for people and planet.
Dishcraft’s mission to create happy workplaces remains immovable. It’s always so rewarding when a customer says, “thank you for doing this, for making this difference for us.” This year, that sense of accomplishment has taken on new meaning as we collaborate together in new ways. And part of creating positive work environments is contributing to our global future, which is why our strategic focus on the three “S’s”—safe, sustainable, scalable—also remains intact.
That said, as the CEO of a small start-up, it has not been easy to face the pandemic’s impact, especially so soon after we launched our dishwashing and delivery service in Fall 2019. As an entrepreneur, I’m used to wearing multiple hats at the same time, as well as overcoming unexpected obstacles that inevitably crop up in the course of start-up life. While I wasn’t prepared for the litany of curve balls thrown our way this year—who could be?—I know Dishcraft is stronger for enduring the highs and lows of 2020.
Which is why gratitude marks our experiences.
People are the heart of our team. Dishcraft has long cultivated an open, productive company culture that prioritizes people and relationships. In our transition to scale, new colleagues have added to our dynamic bringing new ideas and new ways of doing things. It is often challenging to embrace change, to evolve and adapt. I am proud that we have overcome referring to employees as “old versus new” and that we have found a way to connect and come together as a company.
We also continue to build a diverse environment. It’s constant work to create an inclusive culture, but it’s imperative to do so, for a broad range of experiences and perspectives are essential for any entity’s success. This translates to the world beyond Dishcraft. My hope is that during the upcoming year, the ability to come together and work towards creating better environments and opportunities, as we’ve done at Dishcraft, is replicated by Americans across the nation.
Our focus on people means that we miss working daily together side by side, and the spontaneous in-person interactions that have built such a strong team. Yet, we’ve found ways to preserve connections, including through virtual cooking classes, a magic show, and quiz competitions with other startups.
We also miss the people whose environments we work to improve. The pandemic has had an outsized impact on the food services industry. Overnight we lost the vast majority of our corporate cafeteria customers as the workplace transitioned to work-from-home. But we rebuilt ourselves by adapting to the needs of customers with employees still working on-site and developing and partnering with customers in new markets who believe in Dishcraft and our vision. We now proudly work with the healthcare and hospitality industries, helping these essential frontline sectors benefit from the new touchless ware handling technology we built.
As a result of the necessity to be flexible and adapt, today Dishcraft is stronger and better positioned than ever before. That we've done so with courage and dedication is all thanks to our wonderfully talented team, the commitment of our customers, and support of our investors.
It’s my hope that as a result of this year, we all think about our planet through a more people-centric lens and give back. At Dishcraft, we are asking every employee to identify a charity they care about so that we, as a company, can donate in their name. We are giving a portion of proceeds of our restaurant reusable wares pilot to the food service industry and a portion to healthcare. And, in keeping with Dishcraft’s people-centric mission, I’ve donated my time to mentorship.
This Thanksgiving, I challenge you to think about how gratitude marks your 2020 experience, and how we can work together towards improving our environments and opportunities.
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.