Stories of modern business.

Courier Weekly Friday 3 July 2020

Courier Weekly Friday 3 July 2020

Courier Weekly

We’re in Austin to find out how small businesses are dealing with opening and closing yet again, we dig into design thinking and post-Covid travel innovation with McKinsey’s Melissa Dalrymple, and the founders of The Great Feast of London share how they’re turning their virtual food festival into a year-round delivery platform. 

DOMINIC COOLS-LARTIGUE: That's one of the big issues we've had with restaurants over the past few years, we've had too many people wanting to launch a chain, rather than launch a site and launch a restaurant with real feeling about it. Be engaged where you are, be engaged with your community, grow it organically, then people will connect with you. If you look at who’s in trouble right now, it’s the chains, and it’s actually the community restaurants that are going to survive because people are in their communities, and that’s the essence of what this is. London for us, is our community.

DANNY GIACOPELLI: That's Dominic Cools-Lartigue, a street food pioneer here in London, the co-founder of a new digital food festival that launches today, featuring delivered meals, restaurant recipe kits, virtual gigs and more. But there's a twist. Domino’s co-founder BJ wants to keep their food delivery platform humming along far after the festival ends. We’ll hear later on what they have in store. Also on the show today, we hear about the ways the travel industry might change, and how some small businesses in the US are coping with the yo-yo effect of closing, opening and closing again. All that and more coming up today on the Courier Weekly. 

DANNY: I'm Daniel Giacopelli, and this is the new weekly podcast from Courier. For weeks now on the show, in our email newsletters and in the magazine, we've been catching up with tons and tons of small businesses: cafes in Copenhagen, plant shops in Athens, restaurants in Shanghai, to find out how they're re-emerging from lockdown safely, but also profitably. One really big theme has emerged. It's incredibly tough to run a business right now when you have no idea what the next week, let alone the next month, will bring. It's really hard to make financial projections, order stock or fresh ingredients or keep a team on payroll when you don't even know if you'll be allowed to stay open. A few weeks ago, we posed that question to Alfonso Wright from Brooklyn Tea, a small tea shop in Bed-Stuy, New York. 

ALFONSO WRIGHT: What Covid taught us is that we have to be adaptable, we have to pivot, we have to evolve. So, whatever comes next, we’re just gonna take it as it is and do whatever we can to overcome it, and that's really all we can do. We just kind of plan in the moment and think of a short-term/long-term strategy. ‘How do we get through this month?’ Then, if something weird happens, ‘how do we get through the next month?’ Until the pandemic is over, or until we know there's a vaccine, it seems almost foolish – because we don't know if the next wave is going to happen – to make long-term plans right now, unless it's years out. 

As we’re a startup new business, years out also is a little crazy as we have no historical data to go by. So I think we're focusing our energy on ‘how we can pivot?’ ‘How can we evolve?’ Finding ways we can adapt to what’s coming: this week, next week, so we can just stay alive.

DANNY: Alfonso was right, and as if on cue, the situation in the US has taken a turn for the worse. There were nearly 50,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday alone, and businesses are preparing for the worst with those in at least a dozen states having to shut down yet again, after already reopening. So again, how do you deal with that as a business owner? We're heading to Austin now to catch up with journalist Samantha Shankman, who wrote a piece for us in today’s newsletter about the situation in Texas. Here's what she had to say.

SAMANTHA SHANKMAN: So we’re in a frustrating moment right now in Texas because there were some signs of positivity. I think that business owners were starting to feel hopeful; there were expectations that people could start to go out again, and just I think there was a general feeling that people were becoming more comfortable with the idea of picking up their coffee at the cafe that they like, or even treating themselves to a special dinner or a night out with friends. 

A lot of businesses in Texas did a really good job of following the rules and all the regulations. In May, the economy started to slowly reopen, and bars and restaurants were able to have customers inside at 50-75% occupancy. But what happened last Friday, on 28 June was that Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order so that bars in any space that receive more than 51% of their receipts from the sale of alcohol had to close by noon. Some bars were in a position where they had to close in three hours, and this was after spending a lot of money, time and training re-opening in May. 

Restaurants are in a little bit of a different situation because they are able to stay open at 50%, but what you have to realise is that in a lot of areas, especially in downtown Austin and on Rainey Street, a lot of these restaurants are also bars or cafes or lounges that get more than 51% of their revenue from alcohol, and so even though they are a restaurant, they may still be required to close within those same three hours.

DANNY: That was one of the restaurants you caught up with in our newsletter today, a restaurant called Devil May Care. 

SAM: Yeah, Devil May Care is actually in a really interesting position because they had just opened in Austin in December. They had received a ton of positive reviews, the public was loving what they offered, it was in a popular location downtown, and they had to close, reopen, close again. Now that they are able to reopen, they don't want to because it won’t be the same environment that they want to give people. 

DANNY: You also caught up with a cafe that decided to never reopen despite being allowed to by the official guidelines. They decided to stick it out and stay closed, albeit with a bit of a takeaway service. 

SAM: Exactly. Greater Goods Coffee Company is a really important part of the Austin culture because they are built by people from Austin. They have a local brand, which gives money back to the Austin Community. They felt it was irresponsible to open at the time when a lot of other cafes or restaurants were. Now, a coffee shop is in a different situation, because they're able to give a lot of the same experience and product through takeaway or through curbside, but I think that was what was really interesting in talking to Greater Goods, was about how important the community was in being able to do what they’re doing. The community rallied around them and said, ‘we’re gonna order online, we’re gonna keep coming in, we’re gonna order your coffee for when we’re making coffee at home’, and because of that, the co-founders feel like they'll be able to stay open in this new reality, at least through 2021. 

The problem is for a lot of these other businesses, which aren’t going to be able to survive through 2021 if they’re operating at this lower level. A bigger concern in Austin is with its music venues and musicians. Austin is a music city. A lot of people right now are leaving San Francisco, they're leaving New York, and they’re saying ‘where should we go?’ People want to go to Austin, because it has this local music scene, it has local bars, but with all these shutdowns, especially when you’re opening and closing again, a lot of these businesses may just go out of business. The initial attraction of Austin may not be here in the future. So we’re talking about a situation in which the actual fabric of the city is going to change. Now, this change was already happening, but Covid has accelerated it. 

DANNY: Sam Shankman there in Austin, Texas. Next up, to Chicago to talk travel with Melissa Dalrymple. She's a partner at McKinsey, where she helps lead the design team and thinks about better ways to innovate in industries like travel and hospitality. Melissa and her team have just released a new report called Make It Better, Not Just Safer: The Opportunity To Reinvent Travel. It looks at how travel and hospitality companies might freshen things up, post-Covid. I thought we'd catch up with Melissa to find out what sort of recommendations they came up with.

MELISSA DALRYMPLE: I spend a lot of my time thinking about customer experience in travel and hospitality. Like many of us, travel and hospitality is very personal, as well as something that I do professionally, and it has been hit really hard. It’s a sector that’s had major trauma because of what's happening with Covid, and it’s not clear how it comes out of it. We were hearing a lot of accurate doom and gloom predictions about travel and how strong the dip was and how hard it was for folks. I was having a lot of conversations with clients that felt like they always ended on a very bad note. I thought there's got to be some optimism to this, right? There’s got to be an opportunity, there are all those sayings about ‘never waste a crisis’. So we started thinking about different ways to look at what’s going on. Where you could actually say, 'yes, of course, you're going to have to come back safer, and of course, things are going to change,' but frankly, there’s some opportunities to change for the better, that might actually get you out the other side in a stronger position. That was kind of the derivation of the article, and then we started trying to figure out, is that even possible? And how do we think about that most thoughtfully. 

DANNY: You guys came up with a couple points of how to make travel better, the first of which was giving travellers more control. What do you mean by that?

MELISSA: Yeah, that’s another one of those things that was sort of accelerating. When you do design thinking, which is what I do, you spend a lot of time trying to understand what customers care about before you go and solve the problem. Not just looking at the business, not just looking at how you deliver it, but actually what do they want? What are their needs in the first place? Oftentimes, those needs are not just about travel, they're the general expectations they have from using other tools. 

You can think about what Amazon does, or what many of the other digital forward companies do. Like them or not, they are setting the tone for the way that people want to have access to things on demand, relatively quickly to some extent, on their terms. 

For travel, there was lots of opacity, right? You want to buy a ticket, well, what's the refund like? And buried in the small print, a couple pages down, there would be the refund policy. Or, you want to book a flight, and wonder if you can pick your own seat? Those types of questions some folks had solved, some hadn’t. The kind of control that wills people to come back and travel is about things like: I know that you will treat me right if something happens with Covid; if I can't take this flight, I want to know I'll get a refund; I'm willing to stay in your hotel, but please let me not have cleaning, as I actually don't want people in my room, and would feel safer without it. Or frankly, the reverse. Please come and clean my room every day because I want to make sure it's sanitised. So the challenging thing when you listen to customers is we’re not a single block, right? It's about the types of choice and control that you want to be able to give people so they have an experience that builds up their confidence to want to come back. 

DANNY: Was this report a prescriptive thing? Should travel companies all do this? Or is there evidence that they're already thinking of this kind of stuff? Is it wishful thinking on your part?

MELISSA: I suppose it's a bit cautionary, but it's also stuff that we’re seeing. We had a couple of points at the end of this report that said, look, you can try to out-clean each other, and compete on that, but at the end of the day, those are table stakes, right? If you start to think about how you want to come out the other side of this, there’s a real chance to differentiate yourselves, and we're seeing some companies do that. 

Within travel, there have been some great examples of companies who have been very human. Instead of a CEO saying, ‘here's what the deal is, and here’s how much it's gonna cost you and etc,' they've admitted that it’s a huge challenge, one they've never faced before, and then clearly explained how they propose to tackle each obstacle. Customers are much more willing to be patient with brands if they're being honest and transparent about their reasons for doing things. That is a nice change, at least among big companies from the way they have traditionally behaved. Frankly, if you're talking to small and medium companies, they've often been quite good at putting the person and passion behind the brand, and so maybe they have the leg up in terms of being able to demonstrate their thinking about how to get through this.

DANNY: Is that part of the authenticity element that you mentioned? I mean, one of the ways to make travel better was offering greater authenticity and personalisation. 

MELISSA: Absolutely. There are ways to do personalisation now with digital that are way beyond what we've ever been able to do before, which is pretty nifty in and of itself. When you start to think about all the things we were just talking about, ‘can I pick my housekeeping?’ ‘Can I ask for contactless food delivery in a hotel?’ ‘Can I pick my seat ahead of time on an app from an aeroplane?’ These are services that are simple and at our fingertips now. 

I also think there's the next-level version of that which is to be human and be authentic. It's not just about the notion that we're going to tell you a few things that are placebos, and then we're going to act the same. It’s actually acting that way throughout the process, and about thinking end to end. The authenticity example we used was a boutique hotel. The rise of the boutique hotel in our minds was about how every piece of detail was paid attention to. Customers care about a lot of different things right now, because of the whole safety issue. If brands think about refunds, ensuring the customer’s experience of traveling as much as how they pay for travel, you create a much more authentic experience that feels consistent, and doesn’t have any gaps in between.

DANNY: You also talk about different types of interventions that companies can do. You say, a focus on health and hygiene only scratches the surface, because so much of what we just talked about in the media and online is the deep cleaning, the social distancing, but actually, it goes so far beyond that. 

MELISSA: Absolutely. If you think about folks returning to travel, it’s not just about physical safety, but also psychological safety too, and having the confidence to return. Just because you tell me that I'm safe, doesn't mean that I'm going to believe you. Of course, logically the first pass is around the base level of safety. Think about it like a pyramid. Safety is at the bottom. If you're not going to create the base level of things like PPE, cleaning things, social distancing, etc, then you risk the likelihood that someone's going to say ‘I'm out, period’. But if you take it one step up the pyramid, you've got to communicate those things effectively, like we just talked about. It’s about being human, it's about saying it's potentially going to change, and here's why and what we're doing. But the third tier, and where we're actually seeing some exciting stuff is with companies that are planning to make the experience better; companies that are not only looking to invest in the now, but in concepts that will sustain them over time, because we're going to come out of this. 

DANNY: I was talking a couple weeks ago with a venture capitalist who works in the transportation sector, and he said something that might come out of this whole crisis is a focus on cleaning things like e-scooters, for instance. There might be an entire new type of startup that might appear that just does that one thing really well. Do you think you're going to see a proliferation of small little upstarts who focus on one niche in the travel world to attend to one of these problems that need solving?

MELISSA: It’s an interesting question. Those things tend to come up when there's a big problem to solve that nobody has an answer to. It's oftentimes much better to have a partner who can do that, and do it quickly than for some large company to try to figure out how to spin towards it. I also think there’s a challenge, right? We don't know what's going to stick out of all of these things. There may not be scooters at the end of it, let alone the folks who clean the scooters, and so I think there’s a balance that needs to be struck. 

We are optimistic, but we are also not naive enough to think that when you’re down 90% in bookings, that you have a lot of money to spend. We focus on situations that are a win-win, so that for a customer, it's a better experience, but also for a company. As an example, we heard that for Trump travellers who were thinking about flying again, their biggest concern was the boarding and inflight process. The boarding process is slow because of getting to your seats, but also because of people putting bags up above the seats. For a very long time, companies have wanted to make that process easier, because it's faster for them and they like to get bags out of the planes. So now you're suddenly at a moment where a customer might prefer to have their bag in the hold instead of on the actual plane in order to board quickly, get there quickly. Examples like that, where it's good for you, and it's good for the consumer. 

If you wanted to make that even more of a triple win, imagine what we’re talking about in terms of sustainability. As a company, I don't love to have to service everybody’s room all the time; from a sustainability standpoint, the less laundry you do, the better for the world; from a customer standpoint, I don't want you in my room, because I'd like to maintain my bubble. You could think about those things and plan to make sure they happen sooner rather than later, as it's good for all of us, and it helps the company start to recover as well.

DANNY: Have you stumbled upon any other opportunities that others might not have spotted yet in the travel sector that a smart entrepreneur might be able to plug into? As you say, it's difficult to predict even what will be around five months from now, let alone five weeks from now.

MELISSA: Yeah, it really is. I'm a big believer in if you start to observe what’s happening, then you start to create solutions for needs that aren't being met. I like your point about quick and dirty ways to make sure that scooters stay viable. I could imagine situations where airlines serve less food on the planes, and so you could have a business creating vending right at the gate, with the opportunity to have food that's been sealed and officially said to be clean. So I think there's a few elements like that where they sort of sit in the middle of a longer end-to-end process, that the company might not be solving, but a point solution might work for. 

DANNY: You write in the report that no crystal ball could tell us what the future travel will be. That being said, when do you think most people will feel comfortable hopping on a plane again? Or a Ryanair flight to Barcelona for the weekend to have some fun? 

MELISSA: Again, that's a really interesting question, and it's been a moving target. Frankly, I'm working in the US, so I spent a lot of time watching what was happening in China and then in Europe, and what that would predict for us. It took a long time to get here and we are now quite a hotspot and are banned from visiting you guys. So, I don't think we know. 

In the US when we thought about people returning to travel, we had a tiered system. There were people who were ready to do it early because ultimately safety is a personal choice, and then a bunch of people who said, not for a long time, see you in 2021. Others maybe preferred to do a road trip to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Now, we're actually seeing some of those early returners push back because they're saying 'the hotspot that I thought was New York is now me, and oh, this is a serious issue'. The numbers shift frequently, but we're certainly seeing green shoots and lots of exciting stuff happening in Europe. Certainly, as long as the balance between people’s willingness to risk and what’s happening with the coronavirus enables travel, I think you're seeing that progression. What concerns us is when the bounces happen, the impact on that in terms of people's willingness to come back.

DANNY: Melissa Dalrymple there from McKinsey's Chicago office. And finally, today through Sunday, there's a new digital festival called The Great Feast of London. It's the brainchild of founders Dominic Cools-Lartigue, who previously launched the Street Food Market, Street Feast and Bejay Mulenga, his consultancy’s super talent, who works on diversity campaigns and programmes for corporates and SMEs. The two are also behind the food poverty initiative, A Plate for London. The original plan for The Great Feast of London was a physical festival, but they quickly pivoted to a digital one during lockdown. It'll include a mixture of delivered food from some of the absolute top chefs in London, plus virtual entertainment and some great music. They also plan to operate the festival's food delivery platform year-round, following the festival. So are they going up against the likes of Uber Eats? Or are they just doing things their way? I caught up with them to find out. Here's Dominic Cools-Lartigue.

DOMINIC COOLS-LARTIGUE: I've always felt that London, while we have some really great food markets – Street Feast being one – in terms of a defining food festival that really represents the city, we didn’t have one. There are a couple of big food festivals that reference London in their title, but I think some of them are a little bit stale, and lack diversity, which is so important, particularly right now. As a person of colour, that all means a lot to me. 

When lockdown came in, and Bejay and I were looking at all these virtual food festivals, I thought a virtual food festival still ultimately meant that I would have to do the cooking. In London, we're so spoilt for choice, and I want to be able to eat the food that's available here. At the time, I had what I thought was a revolutionary idea about onboarding Michelin-starred chefs and great restaurants onto a well-known delivery platform. We spoke to a potential partner, and then to all these restaurants and chefs around London, but for most, paying the 30-35% for commission was too much to be able to afford to survive. So Bejay and I were faced with a decision, it was one of those fork in the road moments for a business, where we had to work out which side of the argument we were on. 

Ultimately, we sided with the independently run restaurants, the people that we know, and the people who actually need support, because if we weren't doing it, then there wouldn’t be a platform to support them. We decided to build our own fleet, which has been the most amazing, but crazy up and down journey over the last couple of months. 

DANNY: You guys are launching this digital festival today. You've brought on all of these really cool chefs. What can people expect? We're now in the era of virtual festivals, and a lot of people are a bit sceptical about that, and worry it might just involve another Zoom call. What will this entail? 

DOM: The nice thing about this is that you can eat one of three different ways. There’s the normal food that's ready to eat when it arrives at your door, which we're pre-ordering. We're not doing the on demand delivery because that is a bit messy. Then, the exciting bits are our recipe kits and supper clubs. 

This Saturday, Nuno Mendes is cooking a 100-person supper club. It's the food of Portugal and Goa, because the Portuguese were obviously in Goa, and the food of Goa has those wonderful Portuguese roots, but also of all the different places that they stopped off along the way, so there's lovely north African influences in there as well. As a Portuguese man himself, Nuno has often been fascinated by that, and so he's created a wonderful three course menu for us on Saturday. Then, Ollie Dabbous from HIDE is doing one for our Sunday supper club. Both of those meals, while prepared in each chef's kitchens, are finished off by the customer at home. Ollie and Nuno have recorded videos with details on how to do this, and that’s all shared in a private link when you buy the supper club special. 

For Ollie's meal, there’s this wonderful broth, which you heat up at home and you pour over the salmon to cook it. The video shows you exactly how it should be laid out and how it would be plated in his restaurant. There’s a nice bit of interaction, and it’s going to be hot because you're cooking it at home as well, which is sometimes an issue with food delivery. You also get that Michelin standard quality of food and produce, which is where the distinction with our company lies.

DANNY: How will you guys sustain the delivery aspect into the future? Are you trying to create a proper business that could go up against the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats one day, that could potentially get some VC money, and really grow? Or is it more of a niche thing where you're curating really cool stuff from cool people, but you don't have a real need to grow it huge?

DOM: It's not a matter of going up against people. I think we've identified there's a need right now, whether that’s in lockdown or not, for having Michelin standard food brought to you at home, and also from great neighbourhood restaurants like Levan in Peckham and the guys at Kricket. The demand is not just among Londoners; we've also seen a lot of sales from people in the home counties; these are people who normally work in London and come out to play in London, but can't actually get into the City right now. Being able to buy food that isn’t available on most delivery platforms, because it’s too far away, is really great and there’s definitely a business in that. We're not thinking about VC money and all the rest of it.

We own this, we've put our own money into it. Not having the pressure of anybody else is great, the only thing we have to answer to is ourselves. We aim to build this carefully with our partners, and see where it goes. Street Feast was the same way. I knew at the beginning of Street Feast that there would be potential. There were no night markets in London, so I started one and I grew it until we had two. At the first one, we had 600 people. When I sold it three years later, 20,000 people a week were attending and it is what it is today. 

That same careful guidance, of feeding it organically and talking to our customers is the way to go. That's one of the big issues we've had with restaurants over the past few years. We've had too many people wanting to launch a chain, rather than launch a site and launch a restaurant with real feeling about it. Be engaged where you are, be engaged with your community, grow it organically, then people will connect with you. If you look at who's in trouble right now, it's the chains and it's actually the community restaurants that are going to survive because people are in their communities, and that's the essence of what this is. London for us, is our community.

BEJAY MULENGA: A big thing for us is the greatfeast.com, because we've invested so much behind it personally, we're going to be looking to bring different experiences every week. It definitely is a business, and we hope that restaurants will be able to use it as a potential launch pad for their recipe kits. It's an opportunity for us to own a space, which lockdown presented. As Dom mentioned, the hybrid experience between a restaurant and something that you finish off at home is something that we only predict internally is going to be on the rise.

DANNY: Dom, you mentioned before when you were looking at the different food festivals in London, not many were really promoting the diversity of voices and backgrounds and experience that you would expect in such a crazily multicultural city like London. In the Courier Weekly newsletter this week, we have a piece about Black Book, a new food platform for black voices in the food world. One of the things we talked about is the complete lack of coverage in the media for black-owned restaurants in London. And one of the insane stats we found from this Eater article was that only two black-owned restaurants have received a national newspaper review in the past five years in this country. It's totally insane. What are your thoughts about that?

DOM: Yeah, it's crazy. But on the point about Black Book, it's amazing to see that come about. I'm going to be talking on one of their podcasts in August about investments into black restaurants, which is a hugely important conversation as all of the conversations that they have sketched out over the next few weeks are. 

I came to food only 10 years ago; I’d been in the music industry for 15 years, and it has been such an amazing journey. It's a wonderful community of people. Like in any industry, you'll get those who are just in it for the money. I think some of them will move on, others will stick at it. A lot of them are rubbing their hands right now, which sickens me, but that's just the game. Like vultures picking the bones off the sweat of a lot of other people's work, that's just what goes on. But it has surprised me, considering how important food is within the black community that it isn't spoken about more and there isn't more coverage on it. 

When we talk about black, it's not just one thing. There are so many different cuisines in and across Africa itself, and across parts of Asia and the US and the Caribbean where I'm from, where my family's from. There's so much richness, but it's a matter of getting that coverage. If this is the point where we can do something about it and put that right; if this is the point where we can actually start celebrating and talking about different chefs who haven't had the opportunity, then great. Why haven't those chefs come through? Is that because of the structure that’s been in the hospitality industry for so long? And where they've been kept down so that if you walk into any restaurant, the black faces you see there, may only be kitchen porters. I was talking to James Cochran about this other day, he was telling me about some of the racism that he faced early on in his career. He swallowed it, knuckled down and got on with it, but it's not fair that he should have had to face it. Hopefully now, a younger chef can see that James has made it. James can obviously be an inspiration for them to come through.

DANNY: It seems like we’re at a real inflection point for both food businesses and black-owned businesses separately. It could be an even bigger inflection point for black-owned food businesses, because people are buying food in different ways right now. They're buying locally, they're changing the ways they consume, and for a lot of people, they're also trying to buy solely from black-owned brands. It seems like there might be a lot of opportunities to mix things up here and see black-owned food businesses succeed.

DOM: 100% and when it comes to food, people are curious. There’s one bit that I always take with me, and that was from the third ever Street Feast we did. We had a street food crew called Vinn Goute, who were from the Seychelles. Their debut night was with us, and they had the biggest queue. People aren't just lining up for burgers, rib joints and pizza. A black-owned family business were running that crew, I mean why aren't they on our high streets? We have a real opportunity right now because there's going to be so many retail spaces that won't be able to open up, there’s a window to invest and get some of those black-owned businesses onto the high street and into these communities. 

DANNY: What will you guys be doing over the next three days personally?

DOM: Eating. I'm old school. Saturday night, the fact that we've got Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada and Goldie all playing, my 20-year-old self is absolutely over the moon about that. There's stuff to be done, for sure. 

BEJAY: I'm definitely excited about the other DJs that we've got. I turn 25 on Monday, so I'll be celebrating my birthday all weekend. We've got a few young DJs who are going to play some good mixes for us. I'm excited for that. 

On the note around growing opportunities for black businesses, we just had black pound day last Saturday, which was really, really powerful. A lot of the community got behind that. During lockdown, there’s been a real big rise in black caterers who've just gone digital and are now doing home delivery once a week, people who are making cookalongs and charging people to subscribe. I think the playing field of everyone being at home has meant that new providers are now entering the market. Stuff like black pound day, and also just the massive amount of resources behind them – Courier has just announced an initiative to support black entrepreneurs – there's a lot of new funds available. 

Economic power is a big thing to help push for change. You're only as good as the people you know, and you're only as good as the access to capital that you have to grow. So I think there's a level playing field, and a real want in the next quarter to invest in interesting concepts by black-owned businesses. I think we'll start seeing some change. Me and Dom, both being of black ethnicity and coming from the Caribbean and Africa will be able to hopefully be a launchpad for a mixture of more diverse businesses. So yeah, I'm excited to eat. My father is a chef, so I'm looking forward to hearing him critique all the different food that I'm gonna get sent to the home. It's gonna be fun, it's gonna be good.

DANNY: That's it for this week's edition of the Courier Weekly podcast. As ever, any questions or comments, just shoot me an email at daniel@couriermedia.co. I'm Daniel Giacopelli, Courier Weekly is back again next week.

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