Across the country, school years are beginning in a variety of ways. Our family benefits from living in an incredibly small community, with a small neighborhood school. The size and location made the district quite nimble in terms of restart plans. This week, our children went back to school, in person.

We are overwhelmed with gratitude at the work the administration and teachers put into the restart plan. The detailed care and planning was evident in every way, from the flow of traffic in and out of the building to health screenings at the start of the day, the arrangements in the classrooms and dining hall and the new props or tools teachers are utilizing to make the differences seem fun and exciting, rather than scary.

Returning to school was a big deal. So much thought went into every aspect. It’s easy to see: the teachers care about what they do. They are teachers, and they want to be teaching. They worked tirelessly, not just to meet the status quo, but to create a safe, clean, and enthusiastic learning space for our children.

Slowly but surely, we saw businesses reopen around our community this summer. It can be uncomfortable wearing a mask. It can be confusing, keeping track of the regulations put in place for different locations. We all feel the tension of wanting life to return to normal while also remaining safe and curbing the spread of COVID. I have seen many individuals take out their frustrations on mangers, waitstaff, cashiers, or even bystanders.

I believe that it is much the same in other service industries, and especially in hospitality. As Richard Weil, the National Restaurant Consultants CEO likes to say, “it is an industry of happiness”—consumers are happy, eating good food, enjoying good drinks, spending time with loved ones in a nice environment; but it is also an industry of happiness because of the joy its workers bring.

At each step of this “new normal”, I think it’s important that we look for the good in humans doing their best to do what they love. I appreciate the extra care and time that teachers are dedicating this school year, just like I appreciate the added steps required at my favorite restaurants and coffee shops. We really are in this together and being respectful through the learning process is the only way to get through it and find success on the other side.

Our restaurant consultants are here for you also, to offer guidance where the way seems difficult or unclear. If you need assistance with new health and safety regulations or a general reopening plan, please contact a restaurant consultant today.