The New Normal for Hospitality

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye opener and sadly a door closer for some businesses!  Those with a rigid business model have struggled to cope with the impact and the key to trading through it has most certainly been versatility and ability to adapt to the changing environment.

One of the hardest hit industries has been hospitality but there have been some brilliant examples of entrepreneurialism and small business owners have quickly developed manageable take-away services offering a reduced menu serving their most popular dishes, quickly switching to online payments and structuring a safe delivery or pick up service.  Not only have these businesses managed to continue trading but they have increased customer engagement – maintaining and growing a loyal client base, vital for when their doors finally open again.

There are a number of things that must be considered before you re-open to the public and getting them right now will give you the best chance of rebuilding your business over the coming months

One thing that will be essential when doors re-open is that your business gives people a good enough reason to venture out into the new world and one way to do this is make sure that the environment is clean, safe and welcoming.  To do this there will inevitably be some expenditure required which is why it’s important to look at how you manage the cost of reopening carefully.

It might be that home delivery or take away will continue as there is a high chance that you will work on reduced covers.  Working on smaller numbers can only be achieved if you can ensure that all occupied tables adhere to social distancing rules.  This might mean investing new furniture and protective screening to create intimate hubs.

With less covers you might want to reconsider your kitchen layout.  Are there more effective ways to prepare food which would reduce the number of staff required?

If you opt for online ordering apps this will require some investment in tablets and technology and additional measures in hygiene and sanitation will also need to be considered.

All these items cost money and one way to manage that cost is through finance.  Here at Latitude we have lots of experience in the catering and hospitality sectors and structure deals that suit your business.  That might be low start options that allow you to maximise the income generated once open or seasonal payments that peak with your peaks and reduce in your quieter times.  

Paul Horan, Commercial Director, is highly experienced in the hospitality trade and is on hand to talk through the different options available to help budget your re-opening