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The Road to Recovery for Hospitality

Posted on 23/08/2021

Hospitality has been back open for a few weeks now with all dine in restrictions lifted. We thought we’d check in with Sumit Chadha; CEO of Coal Kitchen; to see how things were going. Coal Kitchen are a chain of restaurants who pride themselves on crafting flavoursome dishes from around the world and well worth a visit!

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What have been the biggest challenges since re-opening?   

We have experienced a shortage of recruits for  back of house roles and losing team members to  self isolation, even though testing negative. 

Restaurant Staff 

What are your biggest priorities for the rest of 2021?   

It's about getting sales back to 2019 levels. 

How important has home delivery become for your business?   

It's incredibly difficult to make profit from delivery especially after commission therefore other areas take priority. 

How have you adapted to life after Covid regulations?   

Our teams have embraced the new normal and adapted well. The bigger challenge we face is what  safety areas we will need to maintain  - especially  with Covid levels rising.     

Many of our younger team members do not wish to take the vaccine so this throws up a different set of challenges. One of the successes in operating with Covid has been the introduction of our Order & Pay app called TAMU which has delivered significant benefits to our business in terms of operational efficiency. 

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for restaurants and pubs for 2021  and going into 2022?   

It is too early to tell as recovering from lockdown will take us at least 12 months to rebuild our balance sheets.   

Coal Outdoor Seating 

It seems clear that for the vast majority of  hospitality  speeding up recovery and  getting back to 2019 level of sales  takes priority.  As a result of  the  prior  restaurant restrictions;  new practices and new  ways of working for restaurants came into play with the use of technology to manage ordering, digital queuing & pre-ordering. Other knock on effects post covid that will remain  to the benefit of hospitality  are maximizing outdoor seating and promoting reservations digitally; all helping speed up recovery  quicker. Last but not least home delivery is here to stay with more consumers adopting it to become habit, the challenge  on  how to  make this area more profitable  remains and i a topic we will continue to cover to provide insight.  As a foodservice industry the rules on eating out could change at any time so we also need to  remain  ready to  adapt in the face of this. 

Coal Cabot Terrace Scaled

We hope you found this article useful, we're here to help your business grow.  Make sure to  check out the latest issue of  Restaurant Talk  /news/restaurant-talk-issue-7 and sign up  to keep informed  on  innovative  trends happening in  our  fabulous  foodservice industry. 

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