F&B Company survival Manual for COVID-19 in 2020 

Starting from the outbreak of global pandemic from China Wuhan state, the expression coronavirus (WHO officially coined the SARS enjoyed virus because COVID-19 on Feb 11, 2020) is a familiar term now. However, the panic and disruption it has caused, quickly spread throughout the world especially in Asia region.

Singapore is within the top 5 in the listing of the amount of infected patients internationally because of the standing as an air traffic hub and tourism is one of the focus industries where people around the world visiting Singapore throughout the year. It was our advantage for being a tourist-friendly nation but we are exposed to the possibility of widespread of the infectious virus now.

3 months since the outbreak, most the businesses in Singapore have started to feel the negative impact of substantially lesser diners and our PM, Mr. Lee has also emphasized the possibilities of negative economic growth for 2020.

Tourism, hospitality, and retail companies are at the very first to reach on the rapid decrease in traffic, hotels experience decreased occupancy rates, retail outlets, and restaurants get fewer customer and footfall traffic.

In this guide, AskEdmund F&B adviser wish to share with you some of the approaches to take care of the situation as we know the F&B organization is facing this crisis on all fronts!

What do you need to do to ensure that your business survives?

1) Managing People

Individuals are the center of F&b company both internally (employees, shareholders) and externally (customers). Throughout the period of crisis, it is critical to handle higher expectations especially on the hygiene of your front line staff and the location and so your customers get a sense of safety and prepared to dine in peace.

One great example would be to provide hand sanitizer to your patron or any passed by people. A little more careful may lower the probability of disease of your employees and give your customers the impression that you take hygiene seriously and their health is your priority.

Take a Look at following pointers that we shortlisted for you,

  1. Make sure the well being of your employees both front of house and back of the House (image and perception)
  2. Ensure a higher degree of cleanliness and cleanliness on-premise and in the preparation of meals & drinks (avoidance of a worsening situation by hazard management, evaluations, education and enhancing processes )
  3. One good example would be to provide hand sanitizer for your patron or any passed by people. A little more careful may lower the probability of disease of your employees and give your customers the impression that you take hygiene seriously and their health is your priority.
  4. Rearrange your movable furniture, make it comfortable and the close proximity of tables into one another (Caring about your customers’ safety, also you can control the flow of customers in the equation to you staff electricity or cost that you can afford)
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2) Running Cost & Restoring the returns from the reduced Revenue

Considering the macro-environmental effect from the virus that shadowing the market due to the pandemic. You’re not likely to get a fantastic deal of customers for a long period until the public confidence restored.

Besides trying reducing the workforce to reduce costs (which has impacts to the morale), you can consider unique approaches by trimming your menu and lessen the components to simplify the menu, balancing profit margin, lower the food wastage and increase supply chain efficiency.

Here are some tips that we prepare for you.

  1. Take lost leaders items (read about our pricing plan site ) off the menu, You Don’t have to bleed further with reduced earnings flows
  2. Take community dishes off the menu and replace individual dishes (for example, community hot pot to individual hot pot, sharing platters to individual parts )
  3. Take the Chance to launch a new”promotional” menu that you can minimize wastage and trimmings, have shorter preparation time, preventing ingredients that are currently too in demand due to absence, less holding stock/inventory
  4. Offer bundles that encourage takeout and delivery directly or work with your Delivery Vendors (customer don’t return to you, send them)
  5. Japanese notions that don’t usually allow Takeout or delivery, should take this opportunity to Research catering to Take-Out and delivery dishes, create a takeout/delivery menu for menu items Which You Can keep your established quality levels

3) Managing Company

In the period of emergency, it is even more important to work with an association like RAS (Restaurant Association of Singapore) to negotiate with the landlord for the rental rebate or with the government agencies to facilitate short term financial aid or tax refunds to restaurants and F&b companies .

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Above is only one of an illustration to advertise F&b company to work along with the upstream or downstream of the ecosystems so that it has a larger chance or greater impact across the entire sector. You may also work closely with all the people that you liaise with like your suppliers, banks, POS vendors, landlord, or contractors are within the ecosystems.

Adopting self-ordering technology might be a fantastic advantage now because it is more likely to succeed than before especially since the COVID-19 virus is contagious through close contact, people are most likely to avoid crowded places now. And it is safer for the employees cashier to look after the lesser customer for making a payment or take orders.

These are the few points that we think are important to your survivor strategy.

  1. Renegotiate Rental rebates or waivers for this interval with your Landlord (they don’t want you to close not throughout the emergency anyways)
  2. Renegotiate Procurement cost for raw ingredients together with your suppliers for this period of time, work collectively how to take care of cost by consolidation, amount and orders that are scheduled for delivery and switching to elements which are more cost-effective (help each other, builds stronger bonds)
  3. Rework and Manage your operational budgets base on the worst-case scenario, this will let you maximize your cash flow
  4. Put aside reserve financing for a buffer rather than to be used while the other avenues are exhausted
  5. Change your labor strategy by employing technology in areas that could be independent of individual dependence. E-menu ordering / BYOD / self-evident Kiosk etc..
  6. Work with neighboring restaurants to perform your procurement in bulk to Decrease cost

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4) Managing Marketable Picture of your Business

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Your brand is one of the important reasons that you have got more walk-in customers compare to the regional restaurants which compete with you for the same pool of customers.

Just like you won’t set up another fast-food restaurant near to McDonald’s trying to compete collectively. McDonald as an F&b giant has a well-established brand and a strong brand message”Family-friendly fast food restaurant for ANYONE” that you feel welcomed when you see them.

Being socially responsible is just 1 way to set up a fantastic branding too.

Below are a number of takeaways to your consideration to exhibit corporate social responsibility and make people feel good about you.

  1. Engage and aid with the local prevention of the pandemic
  2. Be visible in your help work
  3. Post it on your social media websites as site and advice to share, don’t be tacky by adopting it, be real
  4. Involve your business consumers by their involvement and support to the battle… physically, spirit and where possible and feasible monetarily. Everyone wants to be in control and able to do something in times of crisis.

What NOT to do

  1. Raise prices for existing menu items for pure profit even though its about supply and demand
  2. Sell by gimmicks any Kind of essentials needed for the battle in this emergency
  3. Using the tragedy as a marketing opportunity
  4. Fail in your Hygiene and Cleanliness – person and premise
  5. Fail to Plan for the worsening disasters on your budgets/forecast and cash flow
  6. Not caring about your customers’ safety and concerns

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