Coronavirus Crisis in the Hospitality Industry: How to Weather the StormEditorial MAPAL 8 April 2020
The worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has suddenly transformed our societies, forcing us to temporarily stop our daily activities in order to stay at home. These measures have particularly affected the hospitality industry, which has had to stop serving its customers, although some establishments are still offering takeaway food.
In the midst of this coronavirus crisis, it’s important to find strategies and resources to help us get through it more strongly than before. Whether you see the crisis as an opportunity to learn or if you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, you need to prepare yourself to deal with the current situation.
To help reduce the impact of the health emergency and better cope with the coronavirus crisis, we have prepared a list of some of the practices you can put in place:
The temporary closure of restaurants is a hard test for business. While waiting for the storm to pass, there are several steps you can take to prepare your business for the future. Take advantage of the extra time on your hands to do all those important, but not urgent, tasks that previously you never got around to starting.
Analyse the company situation
Check the pre-closing sales figures to find out where your consumption peaks are, which products are most in demand, whether your outdoor service is working well, or whether the employees are well distributed by shift. All this data will allow you to acquire a complete vision of the business in order to prepare an effective action plan for the reopening.
Identify areas for improvement
Thanks to business analysis you can also pinpoint areas for improvement. Determine which aspects are less optimized and think about how to transform them. Perhaps it is the organization of work processes, restaurant layout, or supply management. In any case, now is the time to consider all those changes you have been thinking about making.
Plan the reopening
One of the experiences that people in coronavirus crisis are missing the most is going out for a drink with friends or eating out with family. That’s why it’s important to be prepared to give your clients the best welcome back. Among the changes you can make is the menu. Analyse gastronomic trends and study the viability of renewing your menu, taking advantage of the change of season.
Keep in touch with your customers
During quarantine, everyone has the need to interact with the outside world, including your customers. Take advantage of all contact channels (blog, website, social networks, etc.) to communicate with them. You can explain the business situation, encourage them to visit the restaurant after the crisis or promote your gift voucher options.
Apart from the financial aid available to each business, it is recommendable to draw up an action plan to anticipate the consequences of the continued closure of hospitality businesses. Below are some suggestions to help prepare you during this period.
Know your financial health
Check your business accounts to see if you have enough resources to cover expenses and deal with unexpected events. Since it is not possible to set an end date of the lockdown, it is important to define how long you can hold on. If you don’t have a savings cushion or if your level of debt is high, it may be necessary to look for other sources of funding.
Optimise your resources
It’s time to rethink your business model. Do you have the ability to offer take-away food while the restaurant is closed? This is proving to be a lifesaver for restaurants and cafes alike.
Expenses, savings and negotiation
At a time like this it’ s important to study your regular expenses and look for options to reduce them to a minimum. Talk to your current suppliers (electricity, telephone, maintenance, software, etc.) to reach agreements that will help you save as much as possible
The quarantine, the concern for our loved ones and the uncertainty about the future caused by this coronavirus crisis are putting our mental health to the test. It’s normal to experience feelings of irritability, fear, frustration or boredom. However, there are tools to minimize the effects of the crisis.
Being at home for long periods of time, the temptation to watch the news for long periods and scroll through news articles online is understandable. However, sometimes it is necessary to disconnect from the problem. It is important to limit your media exposure to certain times of the day.
Use only reliable sources
Don’t believe everything that comes through social media or the media. There is a lot of disinformation out there and is best to trust only the information that comes from reliable sources. Check government websites, reputable news sources, or check in with your national health service.
Follow a daily routine
Getting up early, having breakfast, getting dressed, checking your e-mail… These are some of the habits we have during our working day. Maintaining them will help us get through this period with some sense of normality.
Keep in touch with your staff
Today, physical isolation does not involve social isolation. Thanks to technology, we can talk to the people in our teams easily. Check in with them often, even if you do not have a specific update – they will appreciate your genuine interest and concern, and will be better prepared for reopening if you are keeping them engaged.
The restaurant industry is facing an unprecedented scenario marked by the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis. The situation is evolving day by day, making short and medium-term planning difficult. That is why it is time to take advantage of the free time to find creative and flexible solutions.