Gerber Communications hits 'pause' due to COVID-19 impact on the hospitality industry

Gerber is “pausing operations” in January due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the hospitality industry, PRWeek has learned.

Gerber Communications founder Tanya Layzell-Payne.
Gerber Communications founder Tanya Layzell-Payne.

The agency, which recently turned 10 and specialises in comms for restaurants, chefs and hospitality clients, will reassess whether it continues trading when the hospitality industry comes back.

Gerber Communications founder Tanya Layzell-Payne told PRWeek the decision to pause had been difficult but necessary to allow staff “a positive springboard to move on from”.

“Gerber Communications is pausing operations in its current form from January 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has not been kind to the hospitality industry. The change of pace has given me time to reflect on the direction and future of the business,” she said. 

“I have taken the decision to end this particular chapter now, on a high, so as to give my team a positive springboard to move on from.”

Gerber recently launched Kol Restaurant during the pandemic and has worked with some of the biggest brands in the hospitality industry, including JKS Restaurants, Big Mamma Restaurants, Caprice Holdings, Byron, Blacklock, Caravan, Skye Gyngell, Angela Hartnett, Thomasina Miers and Simon Rogan.

The agency helped launch the Venetian restaurant Polpo and is regarded as one of the top comms agencies in this sector.

Layzell-Payne said that one of the most rewarding aspects of running the agency had been watching her team grow.

“So many people have developed their careers at Gerber and either continue to do so or have gone on to spread their wings even further. The team’s security from this point is of tantamount importance to me. They have been so integral to Gerber’s success, I owe that to them,” she said. 

“The same applies to clients. I will ensure that we help find the right next-step solutions so that client service for them doesn’t suffer. I want to be able to do this for them now rather than wait to see what 2021 brings when, realistically it will likely be several months before the industry gets back to where it was.”

Layzell-Payne said that when the hospitality industry bounces back, she will “assess what the opportunities are for Gerber’s future”. 

Gerber is not the only hospitality PR specialist that has taken the decision to stop trading. Brand influencer agency WickerWood recently entered administration.

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