We can all agree that social distancing is necessary for the health of our communities. Still, it’s been particularly challenging for hospitality businesses that rely on customer engagement for their livelihoods. From restaurants to casino gaming to entertainment, the industry has had to completely upend their typical strategies to figure out how to survive. For them, this is uncharted territory.
Things are no longer business-as-usual, and everyone is getting creative to make things work. Here are a few strategies that resourceful businesses are trying during social distancing that you may find useful too:
Invest in Your Business’s Future
While business is slow, use this time to figure out what you can simplify for when your business is back in action. For starters, identify what processes you can automate. Do you have tasks that would typically take your attention away from what you really should be doing, such as manually monitoring housekeeping staff and assignments? Are there tasks that involve making data available to an internal audience, for instance, manually exporting POS data for analysis to be collected and analyzed before regularly sharing with management? There are ways to automate these processes today that will pay dividends well after the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.
Stay Connected with Customers
Maybe they aren’t buying right now, but they will again soon enough. You will need those customers once your business is ready. Some sound advice is to stay connected through virtual channels, such as emailing them to let them know how they can get your products during this time. Is your restaurant still open for delivery or takeout? Are you offering curbside service? Or, are you formulating plans to reopen? Email is the leading method of customer communication during the closures, so keep them informed about your offerings and strategies for the reopening in the coming weeks.
Rely on Your Communities & Partners
Some struggling businesses are partnering with less-affected establishments. Restaurants are selling prepared meals at supermarkets to try to recoup the loss of in-house revenue. And vice versa – some restaurants that remain open are selling grocery store items, including the seemingly elusive essentials like toilet paper. These partnerships give businesses a safe way to continue serving their communities without having to shut down operations altogether.
The year 2020 marks a time of uncertainty for everyone in hospitality. These are just a few examples of how our industry is improvising and finding its way forward amid the chaos. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution.