To Optimise, Survive and Grow: How to Come Out of the Crisis Stronger
Every crisis is an opportunity to grow. This also applies to the on-going coronavirus pandemic which influences mainly the food services and gastro industry as a whole. Businesses have to adapt to these new conditions and look for new opportunities at the same time. Those who can manage this situation and survive will come out of the crisis stronger and gain more than just useful experience.
Different Countries, Different Restrictions
Coronavirus restrictions differ from one country to another. In Germany and the Czech Republic, only take-out windows are allowed. Similar rules apply to Slovakia and Croatia. Austria allows people to enter restaurants only under strict conditions. Only groups of maximum 6 people are allowed (plus a maximum of 6 children), tables have to be separated by at least a meter from each other and the opening hours are allowed only until 1AM (in some areas even only until 10PM). In Slovenia, restaurants, cafés and bars are closed. In Bosnia & Herzegovina, restaurants and bars have to follow strict hygienic measures and have to close before 11PM.
The consequences of the spread of COVID-19 on the gastro industry were enormous. Restaurants, cafés, hotels and bistros went through long weeks during which they could not operate. Their drop in business influenced the whole supply chain. Had it not been for the state's help, a big number of them wouldn't survive last year's spring. Since the government's help and its speed was different in each country, businesses have to look for new solutions and ways to reach the customers and optimise their expenses.
The main motivation was not to lose customers or at least slow down the drop in business. Gastro businesses had to become more creative and come up with ideas which would get them closer to their customers. These are couple of such options:
- A take-away window - If you keep your business open, this is the bare minimum without which you would really struggle. Don't forget to promote this feature on the Internet, mainly on your social networks.
- Large companies in your neighborhood - Although lots of small businesses are closed, various factories and offices are still open. And even though home-office is strongly promoted, a lot of people don't have the opportunity to work from home. And these people have to eat something. Make an arrangement with a large company in your neighborhood and provide lunches or snacks for them.
- Your own delivery - You only need one car (which you most probably already have) and you can deliver your food to your customers. Just don't forget your expenses will increase – a fact you should reflect on in your delivery charge or by delivering only above a certain quantity or price.
- A delivery service - A very straightforward way to reach your customer is to entrust the delivery of your food to a third party. Although it's the easiest way it is important to count with a charge taken by the delivery service which should be taken into consideration when adjusting your prices.
It Is Easy to Optimise
One of the areas which is often overlooked under normal circumstances are hygienic products. They are often considered a certainty and are supplied ad hoc. However, in times like these every saving counts and hygienic products are exactly the area in which you can find a significant space for optimisation. In addition, it is an area which will not just disappear once the pandemic is finally over.
It is also important to keep in mind the fact the situation is changing from day to day. This only mounts the pressure on flexibility and speed with which you can implement a change. In times when businesses are closing and re-opening in a matter of days, also the range of hygienic products you need changes. For example, when you reopen your business you suddenly find out you need a lot more paper towels and toilet paper while your stocking options are, of course, not endless.
That's why it is important to keep an eye on your consumption, be flexible and plan in advance. These days, this can easily be managed by an application like Solution Finder, which keeps you informed about what you have and what needs to be ordered. The app also plans for the future and estimates the consumption for two weeks in advance.
A Stable Supplier Who Won't Disappoint You
The newest technologies are one of the areas which you should focus on now. In addition, the pandemic has also underlined the importance of being hygienic in all areas, whether it is paper towels, soap or disinfection. There are all reasons why you should focus on the level of your hygienic products' supply.
- Do you have a stable supplier?
- Is the offer wide enough?
- Does your supplier also offer accessories (for example automatic dispensers)?
These are the questions which should be followed by an affirmative answer. In addition to the already mentioned Solution Finder application, the international company Slovak Hygienic Paper Group also offers you a wide range of hygienic products and accessories. Thanks to its size and reach you can consider it a stable partner able to react flexibly to your current needs and fulfil them without any problems.