Inside Mystery

Mystery Night In: How we shifted gears to help small businesses at the onset of a global pandemic

Please Note: As of 7/27/2021 we are no longer offering Night In.

On March 15, 2020, we operated two final Night Outs. A double date enjoyed a cocktail class and some delicious gluten-free cuisine, and a couple of girlfriends celebrated a birthday with karaoke and some fancy drinks. But then, the very next day, Washington announced a state-wide lockdown to start the following week.

Before any of us knew what the later-labeled "pandemic" would really mean, what we did know immediately was that even a couple weeks of lost revenue could be detrimental to the small businesses we took great pride in partnering with.

We sprung into action and by March 19, we were personally delivering the first 100 Night In boxes. When I say personally delivering, I mean we even had our CEO hitting the pavement. Each box was paired with a local meal and supported more than 10 local businesses.

Our team piled up Night In boxes in their cars and hand-delivered all orders back in March 2020!

As the weeks and months passed, Night In grew—like a lot. We expanded into Austin, then Denver. Each city with its own combination of local love: activities, goods, and meals made by  craftsmen near and dear to those communities.

Just over a year into our first COVID "pivot" (don't we all love a good buzzword?), Mystery Night In is still going strong. It's brought more than $500,000 to small businesses, given work to 50 independent artists, and helped local charities.

Our boxes got a makeover in early Summer 2020.

Today, the Mystery team has brought on 6 new members thanks to Night In—and we're actively hiring even more; Night In also influenced our Virtual Events and Corporate Gifting products, strengthening culture and bringing surprise & delight to teams working remotely.

Not bad for a week's turnaround!

P.S. Shoutout to Troy Attinasi for coming up with the idea for a "date night at home" on his very first day at work (March 10, 2020). 😆

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