Coronavirus: What to do next?
For many businesses, Coronavirus has had a dramatic impact that will change their business models and mindsets for some time to come, some hospitality businesses have seen footfall drop to a tenth or less while others have seen their turnover double or more. The pandemic has not treated all hospitality businesses equally, the cliché bandied about at the start of this nightmare ‘the new normal’ in my opinion is simply untrue, our industry is in a state of significant flux but there are a number of basic principles to keep an eye on to manage our businesses safely through:
- Cashflow is key, and I don’t mean money in the bank. There needs to be more money coming in every day than there is going out. This seems really obvious, but it gets a little more complicated when dealing with vat payments, supplier payments, annual costs like insurance etc. Plot your expected cashflows (in and out) on a spreadsheet and compare it to your actual cashflow, you will quickly see opportunities to make decisions on how to improve your cashflow management.
- Keep on top of payments to suppliers and the Revenue. Falling behind on Vat and Prsi brings a whole lot of pain which is stressful and expensive to solve. Make sure your returns are in on time; this is admin time well spent and will allow you sleep a lot better.
- Really try and understand the performing parts of your menu, what generates the most return for the effort. What are the product interrelationships on the menu, is it coffee and cake or just coffee?, what items are you throwing out the most?
- Try to critically evaluate what you would like your business to do better in an ideal world (even a covid world!). Often we can’t get exactly what we want due to external constraints that are outside of our control but it gets us thinking about what mitigating actions that are within our control that we can implement more easily. For example, are customers waiting too long to get served and not returning next time? Is the answer to simplify the menu, increase capacity at the till or coffee machine or is it a case of a bit more training to improve the customer experience.
- Deliver value, quality at a fair price. Avoid listening to the hype of media reports into unprecedented increases in disposable income, Wagyu beef sandwiches flying off the shelves; this hype invariably leads to a temptation to increase prices. At the end of the day most hospitality businesses sell to a cross section of the community not just the wealthy. Irish consumers have long memories, we remember where we had value and where we did not.
- Sustainability of your offering; consumers know good coffee and they know the importance of sustainability, having an offering like Woodland Coffee that delivers both attracts new customers and builds loyalty.
Both Woodland Coffee blends are designated high grade speciality coffees and have a great sustainability story; as more hospitality business will hopefully reopen over the coming weeks (hopefully!) and months, let us know if you would like to have a chat on how we can work with you to start the next exciting chapter of your story.