It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the commerce landscape. Online retail sales grew over 27% in 2020, and that’s despite retail as a whole suffering a 3% drop! People understably prefer to make purchases online to avoid person-to-person contact, and that could continue long past the point when most of us are fully vaccinated. Why go all the way to a store, wait in line at checkout, and lug your purchases back home when you simply don’t need to? Consumers’ habits are changing, and there’s reason to believe those changes are for good. However, the future of alcohol consumption is a bit murkier.
Are winers and diners desperate to go back to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and parties? Is the hospitality industry, which has been ravaged by the pandemic, going to have a V-shaped recovery, like so many experts predicted would happen with the economy? Or, have people gotten comfortable with the home dining experience? Are we finding a new appreciation for small, intimate gatherings and not having to change out of our sweatpants?
As longtime alcohol enthusiasts and social animals, our team longs for the days of grabbing a seat at the bar and building a rapport with a bartender. We sorely miss the thrill of seeing old friends, and being introduced to new ones, without having to unmute ourselves in the process. We;ve even developed a soft spot for that pounding bass we’ve been trying to outscream for way too long - bmmph, bmmph, bmmph, bmmph. That being said, we’ve also come to realize that these are all unique and separate experiences, not just variations of a single activity.
In the past, all of these experiences were lumped into the activity known as “drinking” (or “partying”, if you’re cooler/younger than we are). House parties, dinner parties, wine art classes (that’s a real thing), they were all bullet points on that same list. Drinking was often seen as the ends, while the accompanying activity was just a means to get there. Well, this pandemic has changed our mindset completely.
Quarantine, lockdown, social distancing, they’ve all given us a chance to appreciate all of the things we took for granted. We don’t miss drinking - we can do that at home, alone, all the damn time. What we really miss is the other stuff - time with friends, new foods, unexpected adventures, and, yes, the occasional sweaty nightclub. Those are the real experiences, the things that make up a life well lived. All along, we were focused on what they had behind the bar, how many shots we could down, what we could get with bottle service, and how bad our headache was the next morning. We were looking at the world like alcohol was the steak (or a delicious vegan substitute) and life was the wine. Well, it was staring us in the face all this time - life is the steak! Alcohol is, and always should have been, the wine. The right cocktail, the right beer, the right spirit, that’s something you pair with a memorable moment to make it just a bit more exciting, meaningful, or satisfying.
We decided to make Dekō a ship-to-home experience because we believe our cocktails are the perfect pairing for your dinner parties, movie nights, catch-up phone calls, and all the other beautiful moments you enjoy in those small, intimate groups we’ve learned to love this past year. If the world ever does go back to normal, there will be things that stick with us from this past year. Online shopping might be one of those things, but we are certain that laidback nights at home are here to stay. And, for those nights, a simple, classic, hand-crafted cocktail is the perfect accessory.
Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely want you to go out and paint the town red again someday; we just think there might be some other beverage that pairs better with that experience. Like we said, it’s all about finding the right pairing for whatever steak is on your menu that night. As far as Dekō is concerned, though, we’ll always be direct with you.