For years now the hospitality industry has been plagued with low margins, stiff competition and a reluctance to change and move with the times. Low barriers to entry, TV shows and social media food exposure have created a flood to the industry of people who either shouldn’t be in the business in the first place, or have a lot to learn about the hospitality industry as a whole.

Over the past month we have seen an industry in turmoil with some venues closing and still remaining closed, some closing and reopening with a delivery and take away model and others pivoting straight away.

With Job Keeper now in full swing the industry is poised for an amazing come back. The opportunity it never had, a chance to reset the entire industry business model and move forward into greatness.

Right now venue owners who have traditionally worked IN the business have the opportunity to be working ON the business.

Even though there has been a scramble to pivot, we are seeing more and more owners being able to find the time to review their entire business operation. Re-access menu design, food costing, implementation of the systems and process they never had “time” or lets be honest, prioritised the time, to implement in their business in the past..

As a company, Foodie Coaches has worked with over 100 venues in the past 4 weeks to assist them to not only survive, but thrive through the current situation and beyond. So much so we have developed a framework that we are currently utilising with our members which works on a two stage approach. The first being the COVID 19 Response which is broken down into 3 specific areas. 1. Protect | Your Profit | Your Mindset | Your Brand – It has been a rough month for the industry and the owner’s mindset is key. If we can look after that, everything else comes together. You can’t look after others if you are not looking after yourself first.

Once owners have taken the Protect actions. They then move onto the Pivot Model, which is figuring out what works and what doesn’t work under current restrictions and market demand. We have seen venues in and out of different styles of operation, adjusting trading hours, staffing and offerings to ensure their profitability and brand stay protected. There have been some amazing examples of pivoting business from, including catered Zoom birthday parties with $100 per cover spend, to local pub trivia nights. The ideas have been endless – turns out people under pressure can get very creative, very quickly!

Apart from the obvious expenses like rent and overheads expenses, the main thing that has been separating the venues who are currently making this work and the ones who are struggling still is the 3rd element of this model – Promotion | Engage with the Community | Standout for the crowd (With your offering) | Become the talking point (What’s your X Factor and how are making guests remember you)

Hospitality isn’t just about food. It is about experience and connection. The venues who have that figured out are the ones who will not only go through this time making a profit they will come out the other end with a high market share and stronger foothold in the community.

The second stage of the COVID-19 framework is about preparing your business for the re-launch. Making sure that everything as owners that traditionally get forgotten about or accepted are getting fixed and being worked on. Each venue varies significantly, however it is all about streamlining operations, building solid systems and processes, and gaining a deeper understanding of the most important thing in the business… The profit margin… 

Job Keeper will be a game changer for many, a low cost work force creates an opportunity for the industry to take the time to reset itself. Re establish it’s voice to the customers, redefine how we do business and come out the other side stronger, more profitable and able to work less hours IN the business, and more hours ON it.

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