The Covid crisis is going to have a profound impact in the way that we do business in HoReCa. The question is what you can do in the meantime.
The rules of the game are going to be different when the Covid quarantine is over. If you believe that you are going back to business as usual, you are mistaken. To acknowledge a change in business reality is your first personal challenge to go out of the crisis. The quicker you realize that, the higher your chances to adapt your business successfully.
Below are the 10 new rules of HoReCa business: A systematic discussion of each of the rules will follow in subsequent articles. Here I am just going to mentioned then as food for thought.
1-Understand your business
Income diversification, will became a standard in HoReCa, following other industries. Gone are the days that you made 70-80% of your turnover from one business line (a la carte/catering/etc). In that sense the HoReCa will go into 'business normalization'.
2-Know your customer
Do you believe that you know them? Then, I have a test for you. Take out your phone and see how many customers you/your managers could call now. If you can call enough of them to allow your business keep running, then you are in good situation. In the post Covid era, tools like CRM, customer segmentation, surveys are becoming standard. How otherwise can you run a serviced-oriented business sustainably?
3- Sell Service
Guest want to buy service from you. So sell service! In post Covid guests are going to be more demanding in terms of quality and service. Be ready to cater them because service is king in post Covid days!
Time of general crisis is time for partnership. In crisis times you verify who is your partner. Everyone has crisis, so everyone need to co-operate with each other. Negotiate payment terms, return of goods, temporary lease reductions or joint-venture with neighboring restaurants. What was unthinkable not long ago can be possible now. You have little to lose, just try!
Your guest expect you to have a very strict and responsible health & hygiene rules. They go much beyond HCCAP procedures. Guests are going to be specially picky on this point and you need to be a step ahead. Establish strict inner regulations for your staff, make sure that those rules are being enforced and communicate your guest about your new standards.
Visibility no longer mean localization but a well thought and implement marketing strategy. Focus on being be visible in social media, emails, press, fairs and build your brand.
If you thought delivery was an important part of the strategy, you are delivering food these days. If you neglected it, now you are having a moment of self-reflection. Delivery is here to stay. The Covid crisis has just accelerate it, so think what your operation can offer. If you think you have nothing to offer, then ask your customers/business partners, because they might help change your mind.
8-Train your Staff
Untrained staff is a liability (not just in times of crisis). In post Covid era the staff need to be able to sell in multi-channel (on premises, take away) and multi-category. So take advantage of these days to trained then. Your suppliers can help you on that.
Beverage is an unexploited source of profit in the HoReCa business. I have trained hundreds on beverage selling techniques, but still this is not an industry standard. In post Covid era you are likely to have less guests visiting your less often, so high time to begin selling beverages an maximizing profits.
10- Analyse & improve
Data analysis is an almost inexistent discipline in HoReCa. As a result, the whole decision making is mainly emotional or based on historic data (poorly analized). This is one of the main changes in the upcoming months. If you don’t have a proper system to analyze data you are doing costly mistakes, which are even costlier in time of crisis.
In the upcoming week, I am going to deal with each of these topics in detail making an article a day.
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