Every successful approach to an unknown venture or some sort of crisis situation stems from strategizing. Planning your strategy successfully gives you a clear vision forward. It allows you to plan your smaller steps with ease, never losing sight of the next milestone in front of you.
Dealing with the unforeseen challenges caused by Covid-19 has taken a significant toll on people across the globe and left us with many questions: How long will the pandemic last? What will people’s lives look like once the pandemic is over? And when can we do ‘normal’ again? What will the economic landscape look like?
We are not exactly sure what the new normal will look like inside the restaurant, or how long this will actually last but we can say for certain that things will look different as we phase into reopening as we are already seeing. And with the easing of restrictions, restaurants are faced with a multitude of new guidelines. It is then of utmost importance to plan ahead and strategize their re-openings, focusing on the things that they can control.
An effective strategy can serve as a crucial road map for any business. By developing and establishing a coherent and well-considered strategy, restaurants can begin to promote their businesses, focus on the right types of clientele, and allocate their resources correctly, all while safeguarding their business and reputation and ensuring the all-important cash reserves are being managed properly – especially whilst the Government support is still available in some shape or form. We recommend planning for at least 12 weeks ahead at all times, yet remaining agile to change if a challenge is thrown upon us. A rolling 12-week strategy will help you navigate the challenges and ensure you do not lose focus if you have a bad week – which is inevitable.
Your 12-week strategy should cover your offer, sales, operations, staffing, marketing & finance for the said period so you can monitor revenue, costs, and ramp up as required.
A strategy will provide restaurants with an edge over their competitors, it will help in refining the offers and services, will highlight affected areas, and define customer wants and needs especially during the next few months. In short, a strategy will clearly outline how organizations aim to reach their predetermined objectives ultimately leading to better profitability.
In the case of Covid, strategies will have to focus largely around keeping guests, managers, employees, and families safe by building consumer confidence, we have seen some encouraging signs in the three weeks of the opening thus far. Restaurants around the world have taken extreme measures to do just that, by keeping sick people at home; maintaining distances between guests and staff where they can; increasing the frequency of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting; and using risk mitigations such as masks, screens, and cashless payment systems where it makes sense and as recommended by governments – every measure possible to ensure the continuation of their business while securing customers.
Planning ahead can only then be beneficial for your business. When preparing and executing your strategy to reopen your restaurants, dining rooms, bars, pubs, or cafes whilst you should keep food safety, public health, and people in front of mind you must not lose sight of the overall business and cash strategy – we are however all guests, managers, employees, families, and friends navigating through and toward our new ‘normal’ and in the end, we would all like to reach the other side of Covid. We have no doubt there will be life after Covid-19 but we must ensure we strategize to enable us to remain standing.
As the saying goes: “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. It is as simple as that.”
For any help, guidance, or information regarding assistance with your strategy, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Muhammad Asif – CEO
Main Course Associates