What are the ‘lessons’ lockdown has taught the hospitality industry?

Coronavirus Report 2020

What are the ‘lessons’ lockdown has taught us and how can they benefit our businesses going forward?

Hospitality expert and business coach Joy Zarine talks about the lessons lockdown has taught her, and how we can all prepare for the new normal ahead of reopening on July 4th 2020.

1. Prepare for more change and challenges ahead

Never before have I uttered the words “expect the unexpected” quite so often as I have in 2020. I think for many of us our plans on January 1st for the year ahead, seem like a cruel joke now. As difficult as it may seem to have clarity at the moment, understanding everything from government guidelines to future opportunities is important to feel positive about and focus on. Having robust business continuity plans in place is crucial in adapting to the changing situation as efficiently as possible so services can go on undisrupted, and to be able to keep making sales.
Reducing and renegotiating fixed costs is an essential part of a survival strategy – be brave and ask the awkward questions. Reducing your outgoings could be the difference between surviving and thriving in the near future. Having a Plan B may not be enough, so add C, D and E into the mix to ensure you’re ready for almost anything! Create options for additional revenue streams, and adding an online or delivery options if you haven’t already are still a sound bet. Life may return to lockdown in our future, and we should be preparing our businesses if it should happen again.

2. Communication

For every kind of business, strong customer communication and connection will be essential to riding out the financial storm ahead. Having a clear message of how your business is rising to the challenges will inspire customers to support you. Connecting with your customers either via social media, on your website or via local community forums, being the constant guide and support your customers in these times of crisis has been essential. As the country begins to reopen we should not stop telling our customers who we are and how we want to support their needs.

Also communicating with your team is essential to make sure everyone is feeling inspired and positive about how you and your business are facing the “new normal”. Everyone from your suppliers, your employees and your customers want and need to know more, like you more and trust you now more than ever. Now is the time to get talking, get communicating and get everyone moving forward together.

3. We are stronger together

No man is an island – and it’s now true to say no business is an island either. One of the most important lessons from lockdown has to be the importance of community and how our businesses can be part of and drive forward our sense of community. Times of crisis can often bring people together and by lending a hand and by asking for a hand from your community – has hopefully made you feel stronger?

Forming powerful business partnerships can transform fortunes for all involved so ask yourself which businesses could you support and join forces with? Who supplies a similar customer base to you, whose products complement your own? Get talking and get planning, in times of change it’s time to join forces and ride the waves!

One success story has been the award-winning independent restaurant Hello Burger. Despite, like every other restaurant having to close their doors for months – they transformed their dining in experience to a dining at home one. Becoming “Hello Burger at Home” within 24 hours – they were able to package their products and deliver them to their customers across London, including their beloved range of Cocktails. They are well-loved for their fun atmosphere’s and funky playlists – so they encouraged their guests to tune in to their favourite albums via Apple Music and relive the restaurant experience – safely from their guests own homes in lockdown.

They are preparing to reopen in the next few weeks, but the success of Hello Burger at Home will continue no doubt – beyond these lockdown times. Find out more helloburger.co.uk

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