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How to protect your pub or restaurant during the Covid 19 outbreak

Posted on 23/03/2020

With enforced closures these are worrying times for all sectors but in particular the hospitality industry. In this article we go through the key considerations to help pubs, restaurants and the wider foodservice industry get through these challenging times.

Protecting welfare

It should go without saying that the primary goal of all individuals and businesses at this time must be to protect the health and wellbeing of those around them as well as the wider population. Following the advice given by professionals and the government, as well as using common sense, can help minimise the impact of the pandemic. Practising good hygiene is a rule that we should have all been following anyway but of course it's now even more crucial to wash hands and surfaces thoroughly and regularly.

Considering your own mental health as well as that of those around you will similarly be crucial to surviving the Covid 19 outbreak. All corners of society are going to be under huge pressure during the next few months at least and we need to pull together and look after each other. If you are struggling to deal with things ask for help and stay in touch with friends, family and loved ones. This obviously goes for all team members too, we all need to be thinking of others in all of our actions.

Take government help

With many foodservices businesses in difficulty and the closure of pubs and restaurants the government has introduced a series of measures that will help the foodservice industry. Make sure you're aware of the schemes and subsidies that are available and make a claim.

Consider food delivery and collection

Of course, people will still need to eat food and so if there is an opportunity to offer a delivery service this could be a great way to bring in vital sales. Similarly, preparing items which can be collected, such as bread, cakes or pastries for example, could help keep business coming in. Even providing ingredients and instructions to cook at home could be a viable option for some restaurants too. It goes without saying that these services will need to be adapted to reduce any contact to an absolute minimum in order to protect staff and potential customers.

Protecting your cashflow

With the constraints laid out on the foodservice industry it will be extremely difficult to keep money coming in. However, you may find during these difficult times that customers will realise the problems that businesses are facing and will want to help in any they can. At the same time there is also an important duty for everyone to do what they can to protect the more vulnerable within society where possible.

Sell gift vouchers

Offering gift vouchers for meals or experiences to your valuable customers that they can redeem now or at some point in the future is a great way to improve your cash flow and offers people the chance to help you where they can.

How can you reduce your outgoings

It's important to tighten your belt wherever possible whilst still keeping your business alive. Take any advice you can from accountants or legal services that you think could help and consider any ways to reduce costs or take the pressure off to help your pub or restaurant survive.

Spread the cost with suppliers

If you have the chance to extend the terms with your suppliers this could be a good option, discuss the possibility to defer payments until business picks up again.

Stop any non-essential subscriptions

If you're paying subscriptions for sport for example it would be advisable to end the contract if possible.

Reduce opening times

Consider only opening during peak times to ensure that your business stays open for the opportunity to serve customers where possible but also decreases costs.

Making the most of staff resource

Most business owners would agree that their greatest asset is their staff and that remains the case even without the certainty of regular business coming in. So how best to maximise the extra resource during slower times?

Take time for staff training and upskilling

This could be a great time to make sure staff are all correctly trained to do their job as well as offering the opportunity for team members to upskill for potential new roles once things improve.

Improve your premises

Cleanliness will obviously be extremely important during this time but this is also a good chance to do a deep clean and fix anything broken. It could also be an opportunity to reorganise and redecorate to ensure everything is ready to go once things improve.

Make the most of online

Get creative

If you don't have social platforms or a website set up, this could be a chance to get things set up. If you're already online why not take the chance to get some new imagery and videos made of your products so that they're ready to use during busier times.

Advertise the services you can still offer

Make sure your customers know how you can still help them by keeping social pages, Google search and your website up to date.

What can you do to help others?

These are unprecedented times and things are going to get difficult for most people. Whilst keeping businesses open is incredibly important it's also vital to remember the most vulnerable people in our society. Pubs and restaurants play a crucial part in our communities and that is truer than ever, now is the time for everyone to do what they can to support each other.

Is there anything you could do to help older people or those with reduced mobility access food, supplies or even a little human interaction?

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