Published 21 December 2020
by Lisa Markwell
Tanya Layzell Payne has decided to pause operations on her successful PR agency. Gerber Communications has, over the last ten years, worked with many of hospitality’s biggest names. Layzell-Payne and her team launched the influential Polpo and, most recently, saw Santiago Lastra finally open his dream restaurant KOL. In between Gerber has had clients including Skye Gyngell, Thomasina Miers, Angela Hartnett, JKS, Blacklock, Caravan, Caprice holdings and many more.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has not been kind to the hospitality industry,” she told CODE. “The change of pace has given me time to reflect on the direction and future of the business. 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.”
The last few months have seen PR hit hard by the effects of the pandemic and lockdown, as hospitality businesses cut costs and (sometimes) close. But Layzell-Payne has much to feel proud of, including her popular MD Tori Slater: “One of the most rewarding aspects for me running the agency has been watching the 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.”
However, despite the news that will see her take a period of time away from PR, Layzell-Payne is not saying never again. “I am pressing pause on the business, as opposed to anything else, because I truly believe that, when the time comes, the hospitality industry will come back stronger than ever. When it does, I will assess what the opportunities are for the future.”
Everyone at CODE wishes Tanya and the Gerber Communications team well for now and the future.