All over the world hospitality businesses have been forced to act on their feet, responding to the changes of consumer behaviour triggered by public health orders and their restrictions. The hospitality industry has shown remarkable adaptability and ingenuity in response:
Taking care of customers
Hospitality businesses are core to our community, and every business has their own culture and identity. Even when the toughest restrictions were imposed, many Australians felt comfortable frequenting their local cafe, bakery, takeaway, store which is testament to just how much a habitual role food hospitality has in our lives.
The businesses likely to emerge stronger are those that have continued to engage with the community throughout the restrictions and have effectively communicated how they are adapting and looking after public health and safety. Fostering consumer relationships will be fundamental to maintaining business goodwill.
Many hospitality businesses have had to make drastic changes to their business model (some of which owners may feel are ‘off-brand’) such as the wave of fine dining restaurants who have transitioned to takeaway to keep their businesses alive. Perhaps the greatest success has been how businesses have embraced and adopted automation of their businesses both internally and online. There have also been many exciting collaborations between hospitality businesses and their suppliers, as well as each other. Our industry has once again highlighted 'in unity, there is strength'.
Has there ever been a more innovative industry, or a better time for market research?
Business owners are perhaps more engaged in their customer base than ever, this reset is an opportunity to try out new ideas or prepare to launch in a new direction ie. refresh and refurbish, attend to repairs, update equipment and/or offering. Business owners are innovating everywhere, this is a chance to validate business ideas with customers and discover new ways of operating.
Maintaining cash flow
Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business. Most hospitality businesses have been prompted to streamline their operations: limit their suppliers and extend credit terms, strip back their menus, audit their costs, reduce unnecessary spending and retail excess stock. This is a good time to look within to ensure cash flow and maintain business operational health.
Focusing on quality
An unintended benefit of the restrictions has been the increased demand for quality food hospitality experiences. Limitations on the number of dining in customers will allow businesses to focus on the quality of their offering, and operational efficiency will promote a more finite offering allowing greater success of execution.
Please support hospitality industry initiatives
· HelpOutHospo is a new initiative created to sell home hospitality videos to the would-be restaurant and bar goers stuck in self-isolation, with all profits going to out-of-work hospitality staff.
· Save Our Restaurants is a grassroots initiative powered by TheFork and Tripadvisor, designed to bring people and organisations together to support the restaurant community, mobilising loyal customers to provide much-needed support to their favourite places in town.
· SaveHospitality is a joint initiative of inKind and SilverChef. Asking you to 'pay it forward' by buying credit to your favourite restaurant or cafe. This credit will provide an invaluable cash flow injection that could make the difference in a business being able to stay open.
If you are looking to acquire a hospitality business, or perhaps you have questions about potentially selling a hospitality business then please feel free to contact the team at Retail Business.