Lox Stock & Barrel Adapting to Change During COVID-19
When Lianne Gottheiner and her brother Neil opened Lox, Stock & Barrel seven years ago they certainly never envisioned a year like 2020.
“It has been a year of challenges and surprises, but also valuable lessons,” Lianne reflects.
Lianne isn’t someone who fears change. In 2005, she left a lucrative job in the travel industry to join forces with Neil, a talented local chef, to take over one of Bondi’s favourite local restaurants – Brown Sugar – which they ran for 13 years until November last year.
The idea was to pour their energy into their second business Lox, Stock & Barrel – their homage to a New York inspired deli-diner.
“COVID-19 wasn’t on the radar so we were incredibly lucky to only have one restaurant to manage at the time,” Lianne says.
“We both recognised there had been a shift from nightlife to day living where brunch and lunch where how locals socialised and met up.”
While the plan was to expand their catering arm, providing tailor-made culinary experiences for corporate and private events, COVID-19 had other ideas.
Like all hospitality venues, Lianne and Neil had to adapt their operating model overnight to survive one of the world’s worst health pandemics.
“Again, I was lucky. A friend encouraged me to trial a delivery service so I’d set up an account with Uber Eats just before the virus hit,” she says.
“It was a really good move because there are so many people working from home and sitting at their desks ordering breakfast and lunch online.”
The community is what Lox is all about. So Lianne says the business took the opportunity to explore what locals needed in 2020.
“For us, that means creating nurturing and nutritious meals to be enjoyed in the café and at home,” Lianne says.
“A majority of our guests are families and young people who love the Bondi lifestyle, so we honed in on that and tried to make their life a little easier.”
This close relationship with their customer base saw the launch of new initiatives such as Lox Larder and delicious homemade meals.
“Lox Larder enables customers to shop for top quality grocery items with minimal contact so they’re getting the best produce direct from the food market without having to step inside a shopping centre,” she explains.
“Another bonus has been the increase in catering jobs for parties of up to 20 people at homes around the eastern suburbs.
“While a lot of people have been reducing the time they spend out in public, it is still important for them to maintain weekly gatherings and celebrations with their close family and friends.”
Lianne credits her brother, her partner Josh Wermut and her hardworking Lox team for their success in adapting to the crisis.
“I have an amazing team around me and I’m also extremely grateful we are based in Bondi where there’s such a strong sense of camaraderie,” she reveals.
“So many people are working from home, so our lunches are busier than ever and there are lots of people sitting in cafes with their laptops having coffee.
“Sometimes the best lessons in life come out of adversity and this has taught me to think outside the box, because change is how we all survive.”
For more information go to: www.loxstockandbarrel.com.au