How The Hospitality Sector Can Fight Back From COVID19
2020 has been an extremely challenging year for all of us, especially businesses. The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose, so when an infected person coughs or sneezes and others are around, they can infect others in the process. Regular handwashing, not touching the face, proper sanitization, and practicing a high level of hygiene is crucial in helping beat the virus, no matter what business sector you are in.
While a wide range of businesses have benefited from the coronavirus and we’ve seen a significant shift in buying behaviour from consumers, others haven’t been so lucky. Businesses with e-commerce stores where they are able to sell online have seen a huge boost in sales and this has been due to the fact safety measures including national lockdowns have been implemented as a way to reduce the number of infections all across the world – resulting in customers having to do essential and non-essential shopping online. Before we dive into methods and strategies that can help the hospitality sector, below we’ve made a list of businesses that have been affected, and others where covid19 has benefited them.
Businesses That Have Been Hit By Covid
- Local non-essential stores e.g., cafes
- Music & media e.g., cinemas, theatres
- Leisure facilities
Businesses That Benefited From Covid19
- Online retail e.g., shopping & footwear
- Insurance e.g health, property
You can see a full list of industries most and least impacted by covid19 here.
2021 is another, a new year where we’ll see the world transition to the next normal, whatever the definition of that may be now. As we see the covid vaccines being authorized across the world, it marks a major turning point in helping battle the virus once and for all. With a new sense of optimism, there is still a long way to go for businesses to recover and regain what they have lost over the course of last year – and some are unable to even continue.
Hospitality on Lockdown?
Some countries are still taking precautions and have strict restrictions in place – with this in mind, we’ve provided a few strategies below to help you make the most out of a bad situation. We know that for pubs, restaurants, cafes, and hotels they are unable to open, they cannot open their doors to greet new and old customers – so what’s been the way forward?
Many small businesses have converted their business into a takeaway, because it’s the only form of business that lifts them from restrictions, and it’s a safer way to do business. It keeps customers happy, and sales are still being generated. For restaurants, integrating a takeaway service means you need the correct equipment, delivery drivers, and a platform to advertise to your existing and new customers. This strategy can also be applied to pubs, cafes, and hotels! Here’s what you need to think about:
- Food hygiene– This is paramount. When producing and cooking food, you have hygiene rules to follow, but with covid on the scene, your hygiene strategy needs to be amplified to keep yourself safe, and customers. This means you’ll need to stock up on hygiene supplies, such as hand sanitizer, paper towels, antibacterial wipes, spray, cloths, and lots more.
- Food packaging– If you were strictly a restaurant owner and not the owner of a takeaway, you won’t have experience in delivering food safety and health. Food packaging is the number one priority when it comes to food, you need to ensure the packaging is high quality, protective, and keeps the food warm and hot for customers to enjoy.
- Online platform – Digital marketing is the future of any business, whether you’re online already or not. More and more users are spending their time online, and it’s the fastest way to grow your visibility and help you be seen. Platforms such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Just Eat are perfect for advertising! They’re easy and flexible to set up, you can even promote on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social platform where users can be engaged.
- Drivers – A very important and crucial aspect in providing a takeaway service – how are you going to get your food from one place to another? If you have staff on furlough, this could be the chance to bring a few backs and kickstart things slowly but surely.
Restaurants across the globe are home to some of the most incredible chefs that are able to curate beautiful, delicious cuisine – and we know for many of us we just want to go to our favourite restaurant or café and get the halloumi burger with sweet potato fries or the katsu curry recipe that we’re dribbling just thinking about. Do you see where we’re going with this?
Online Experiences e.g cooking lessons, pub quizzes
Give your customers, and new potential customers something to look forward to as restrictions are still underway. Can’t give them their favourite meal? Why not teach them how to make it online instead? If we look at Zoom, this has been an incredibly popular digital platform for all businesses to connect with co-workers, friends, and family. It’s a way to still stay connected, even when we’re facing the biggest pandemic of our lifetime. Offering online cooking lessons, or dedicating a program towards a new skills course for users, can be incredibly helpful to not only you and your business, but it helps those who are isolating at home too. You are therefore working towards retaining your customers, and not losing them.
Airbnb offers a similar, innovative program on their app – they offer ‘experiences’. Although they started off as only offering accommodation, they’ve now evolved, and they’ve grown with the curve and the market.
You need to do this too.
Move Inside to Outside
One way to abide by the restrictions that are important but to also become an innovator for your business? Move inside to outside where possible. One of the many rules around the world is that you can meet those who are in your ‘bubble’, and outside is safer than inside. A lot of us are now spending more time outside, to get some exercise, to take a break from working at home and having to stare at screens for 8 hours a day – so for hotels, pubs, cafes, and restaurants that do offer food and drink service, why not provide it outside? Socially distanced, safe, ad hygienic of course.
We understand that many things have changed since the pandemic, and as trends come and go, your business needs to grow with them to be successful. While some businesses may never recover from the detrimental impact covid has had, your loyal customer base will still be waiting for you when all of this is over, and until then, become an innovator in your own field – and get creative but smart.