As we enter the New Year, I wish to take this time to reflect on some wonderful things that our community helped make happen in 2020. I hope to convey my gratitude for all of the hard work and dedication that our guests, team, fishers, farmers, brewers, distillers, and purveyors have put in to make these possible. This was not an easy year for anyone. However, much like sharing food, adversity can bring people together. When communities come together, great things can happen. And we saw this happen here at Ray’s on a daily basis. I am humbled to be part of an organization that fosters this togetherness. Here are a few successes that touched me for which I am most grateful:
Rock The Vote: We engaged rockthevote.org and encouraged restaurant industry voter registration through social media, in-house materials, and our Ray’s newsletter. The result contributed to more than 4.1 million Washington State voters casting a ballot this year, compared to the 3 million cast in 2008.
Black Lives Matter: We donated 100% of the gratuity from the first month of our meals-to-go program and helped raise awareness within our community as we help to declare racism a public health crisis in Washington State.
Ballard Food Bank: We provided two large perishable food drop-offs plus 100% of our gratuity from our December “gifts to go” promotion to help support those in need throughout our neighborhood.
Educator Gift Card Promotion: This past September, as remote learning started up again, we offered a gratis $20 card for each $100 in gift cards purchased with the hopes that people would gift it to those who are (or have become) educators in their families.
Reinventing Rays Happy Hour: When we re-opened in June, we knew that Seattle would need “more happy.” Our team worked hard to reinstitute our famous Cafe happy hour and facilitated some much-needed outdoor relaxation time for friends and families at a discount.
Best Seafood in Seattle: The fishers and purveyors who bring us amazing seafood, the culinary team members who make it happen, and our loyal Rays fans who voted us to the top as the Seattle Met magazine Best of 2020 “Best Seafood Restaurant”for the second consecutive year.
Resiliency: The guests who have supported us for 47 years, our flexible team that embraces ‘speed to market’ and absorbs change after change, and our compassionate leadership groups’ long-term strategic vision have allowed us to be nimble, adapt, and survive this current challenge. We earned a spot on the Seattle P-I’s“16 Historic Seattle Restaurants Still Open – and What They Look Like Today”article posted on 12/4.
Ray’s has been in Ballard long enough to have lived through the 70s oil crisis, the 80s economic depression, the 90s recession, the 2000s dot com bubble-bursting and the housing market crash. There will be a point in the future when we will all look back on 2020 and reflect on how we each persevered over the challenges we faced. I hope that when this happens, we will each be able to remember those around us who helped prop us up, kept us moving, and provided support. I know I certainly will. And I will thank my family, both here at work and at home, for helping me to remain grateful.
New Year’s Eve Dining at Ray’s!
Finish 2022 with an incredible dinner on the water! Join us at Ray’s on New Year’s Eve in our first floor Boathouse or upstairs Cafe, pop some bubbles and enjoy fresh local seafood. Both venues will offer regular menus along with elegant specials prepared by our Executive Chef Kevin Murray and team. Reservations are strongly encouraged for all parties …