With rise in coronavirus cases that is hitting some parts of the country again, there’s no denying that restaurants in parts of the country are facing the crunch again. Hence, it is very important for these brands to learn from the winners who have stood strong during these unprecedented times.
No doubt this has been a very challenging phase and one that is quite unprecedented. Restaurants have already gone through a tumultuous few months from March onwards. In the peak lockdown months they had stores temporarily shut or restricted with timings, material transport Pan India and logistics suffered, managing the ground operations team and managing to sustain without footfalls for the first couple months while making sure to keep the team motivated and incentivised to ensure the highest level of safety and SOPs was challenging for the overall sector. Also, there were multiple internal and external challenges faced by the restaurants but despite of all this they have stood strong welcoming their guests back.
Here are some of the key leanings from India’s top brands and restaurant owners from 2020 crisis.
Quality: Quality is an important part of a restaurant business. One of the key factors that restaurants focused during the pandemic was delivering quality. “Very important learning is to keep focused on quality, quality and only quality. We were always very conscious of our ingredients, hygiene and food safety measures. This I feel has actually helped us gain in the Covid time,” shared Vineet Manochaof Lite Bite Foods that own brands like Zambar, Punjab Grill, Asia Seven to name a few.
Be Adaptive and innovative: “Most important learnings have been around ensuring that we are nimble, adaptive and innovative and have the ability to make quick decisions and react fast to effect change in a scalable manner within a constantly evolving landscape, all while ensuring quality and customer comfort come first,” said Ankit Patel, CEO, Belgian Waffle Co.
Customer is the King: We have learnt that most important aspects for a brand are its goodwill and the product value. A restaurant is made or break by the customer it has or the fan base it gets. “Even during the pandemic people kept ordering from our restaurants due to the strong faith that they have on our brands. We are happy and blessed to learn that we have been able to build that trust among our customers,” added Debaditya Chaudhury, MD, Chowman Hopitality Pvt. Ltd.
Relooking the business model: The pandemic has made every restaurant owner relook at the business model by way of size, structure, venue and pricing. “As we are re-open, we are looking at the bottom line very strongly, keeping in mind that there will be lot of stress on the compliance in the future. So, where ever we are opening, we are working on a new business model, so that in case we face such kind of situations in the future we would be able to settle in better,” shared Anjan Chatterjee of Speciality Restaurants who also entered into the cloud-kitchen model during the pandemic.
It’s all about team work: Times like this reaffirm that your biggest asset and backbone is your team. “We need to have a lean team, efficient systems apart from many new and innovative ideas to do business,” pointed Sharad Sachdeva of L Catterton that has invested in Impresario Handmade Restaurants.