3 business lessons F&Bs can learn from the pandemic

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A wise man once said, “change is the only constant.”

With COVID-19 causing massive changes to businesses around the world — from consumer behaviour to digital transformation — these words have never been more true!

COVID-19 has forced many businesses into survival mode (and some, to an unfortunate end), and owners are constantly thinking of  high-value and impactful strategies that allow them to reap long-term ROI.

F&B Lessons Pandemic, 3 business lessons F&Bs can learn from the pandemic
F&B Lessons Pandemic, 3 business lessons F&Bs can learn from the pandemic

Source: KTCHN Rebel

Tons of businesses and brands have come out to share about their Covid stories – successes, experiments and even failures. In this article, we capture the essence: top 3 business lessons F&Bs can learn once and for all from this pandemic. “Sometimes in life the lesson will keep repeating itself until you learn them.” – never more true!

1. The importance of openness

Making any business investment during Covid is much more risky than pre-Covid! In a climate of fear, businesses can be tempted to shrink and freeze (in all sorts of literal and figurative meanings). It’s tempting to think that all F&Bs fared more poorly through Covid. After all, it’s a pandemic! However, that’s not true – there are some winners whose profits have grown even amidst Covid.

The reason? Identifying opportunities, taking action, stomaching risks. We may not be the most risk taking country, but we can take a leaf out of others’ books! Countries such as China have long embraced tech for their operations and by keeping up with what they do – and observing usage trends, it allows us to become more comfortable with the idea of digitalisation.

F&B Lessons Pandemic, 3 business lessons F&Bs can learn from the pandemic

Source: Vulcan Post

New ways of doing things embraced by early-adopters that is now becoming much more common includes cloud kitchens, QR menus and digital time tracking. By embracing new processes and their benefits, you stand a greater chance of keeping up with the times and adapting during difficult situations.

A research done by IBM revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation at 59% of the organisations surveyed. More businesses are looking at revisiting what they have done and making changes, such as new systems, technologies or strategies to stay nimble and future-proof.

And, the results have been very impressive! By the end of 2020, many restaurants that had adopted digital tools reported that revenues had bounced back to 70% to 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

TLDR: Embrace change, keep up with trends, take risks.

2. Taking an honest look within

While we certainly advocate for digitalisation, it is also not about digitalising every aspect of the business that every one that comes along and tells you about. or just because your neighbour is doing it too. Businesses must thoroughly understand both the stage of their business, and how well each aspect of the business is functioning. In short, which part is seriously dragging us down, pulling us back?

F&B Lessons Pandemic, 3 business lessons F&Bs can learn from the pandemic

Source: Unsplash

Some things to look into include:

  • Which part of the business is most time consuming for myself and/or my staff?
  • With the extra time, what could I devote this to?
  • Are there business decisions we want to make but we cannot due to lack of data/ timely data?
  • Where are the bulk of my costs from – can they be reduced? have we been keeping our budget?
  • What are industry benchmark standards and best practices – where do I stand from that?

By having time on hand to truly take a hard look at the business down to the ground-level, businesses can glean good insights on what really needs fixing so that the business can run on its own legs well.

With that, it is then easy to know what process to re-engineer, and in which priority. It could be a shift in internal structure, or adopted digital solutions built to solve commonly-faced problems in the industry like high OT costs. In doing so, you stay lean and also create a solid foundation when business picks up again.

With that, it is then easy to know what process to re-engineer, and in which priority. It could be a shift in internal structure, or adopted digital solutions built to solve commonly-faced problems in the industry like high OT costs. In doing so, you stay lean and also create a solid foundation when business picks up again.

Every dollar and every minute of your time counts 🙂

Spent wisely, you could be saving $24,000 a year like Kiosks Collectives, umbrella brand of well known local faves like CRAVE, Pezzo, Ya Lor Braised Duck and more!

3. Getting your team’s buy-in and support

Making a decision is easy, but for a plan to run successfully, one requires the buy-in of all (if not, most) of the team on board! When decisions are made clearly and the concerns of different stakeholders are addressed, this makes it easier for everyone to get to action and execute the plans as it is envisioned.

Don’t forget, this includes even the staff working at the ground level – yes, your full-timers and part-timers! The human extensions of your brand, they are the ones who directly serve your customers and form a huge part of the service experience. With the right mindset, we can adapt faster than we think.

Who is helping you minimize your labour costs?

The pandemic seems to be a time for businesses to keep risks down, but conversely it seems that the businesses who took a more calculated risk have benefitted more. Some see this as a golden opportunity to pause, fix certain things so that the business can go a longer distance.

If high labour costs is a problem for your business, it’s time to relook your time tracking tools. Like many of StaffAny’s users, a simple swap can see you enjoying up to 30% of your labour cost savings.

Check out how Tea Tree Cafe manages to save half a manager’s salary every month with StaffAny! You could be next 🙂

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