What are your biggest business concerns surrounding COVID-19?
At the moment, my biggest concern is the safety and health of our employees and customers. Additionally, the hospitality industry in general. So many restaurants have already shuttered and I fear many more will in the future.
My philosophy is to take it one day at a time.
These are my colleagues and my greatest hope is that we weather the storm. We closed mid-March in North America (Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, and New York) but also our global operations. On a global scale the losses economically are devastating. Unfortunately, the future of the economy looks bleak. We are headed into a recession and the duration of it I cannot predict. We have closed all stores worldwide respecting the rules locally and started a Ladurée Relief Fund for US employees.
What is your current business strategy for dealing with the situation?
After the initial shock of what was happening, we worked quickly to refocus our efforts mainly on e-commerce, launch a Relief Fund for all our US employees, tap into our chefs and create simple cooking videos to share on Instagram, and deliver food to New York City hospitals—frontline and healthcare professionals that are desperate for help. It’s essential that we support the community. We are all in this together.
Because we are in the food industry, we already have very strict rules about hygiene. Currently, we are working on how to welcome our guests, and make them feel safe and secure in our restaurant and stores, while also continuing to push the digital business.
How do you think things will look in your industry a year from now?
It is hard to say what the hospitality industry will look like in one year. We don’t even know what it will look like next week. Everything is so uncertain. My philosophy is to take it one day at a time. For Ladurée, how we do business in the future will change. More e-commerce, virtual cooking classes.
What have you learned from other difficult times in the past?
The most significant lesson for me is that it is essential to be agile and adapt quickly to manage the difficulties. Teamwork and positivity are also key. During the wars in France, our bakers were helping to provide food to the community. The same applies here—supporting your local community is critical. Unity is a powerful thing.
Safe–and entertained–at Home: What business leaders are doing with their downtime
I’m enjoying my new 30-foot commute and use my extra time for yoga or pilates. After, I share my time between home school and calls with Paris in the morning and with the US in the afternoon.
I would love to say Miss America, Self Made, and Hollywood, but, in general, I watch the credits and fell asleep.
I read a range of magazines on food, fashion, and lifestyle…mostly from France. My book right now is the bio of Helena Rubinstein, what an amazing woman! She is the one who invented marketing and communication actually.
What are you doing to spend quality time with those you’re sheltering with?
Spending time with my Kids, playing games like the Monopoly—but the cheater’s version, which I’m much better at—or baking, of course…but simple recipes.
What are you doing to stay healthy mentally and physically?
Limiting the amount of news I watch/read and the source of that news, practicing almost every day some sport, and catching up with my parents and friends.
Where are you dreaming of visiting once things are back to normal?
I just want to see my parents wherever they are, and after that, my son asked me a trip to Brazil, which sounds great to me.