There is new normal that is going to be achieved, particularly for the restaurant chains going forward as they sort of get used to the lockdown, unlock and re-lock. We are going to see a lot of disruption in the supply chain sector that is going to happen. The supply chain wasn’t able to cope up the way we have always been used to. Going forward what would be the future of supply chain and how would the restaurateurs plan themselves in order to be keep servicing their customer is a big question.
There are few trends that we saw emerging the food service sector that will also affect the supply chain industry one being the consumption of plant based meat because there was less use of labour in the factory verses meat based products where there is far more human interaction involved. Therefore, vendors must be in better position to supply us the plant based meat going forward and that may get visible in the menus of the restaurants. Frozen will be going to become the new fresh while we like it or not, we are going to see lots of frozen foods in our menu. Local sourcing of food will again become a new normal. We can see more farms to table kind of concepts emerging in top cities. They have always been sort of very difficult because of the entire procurement, middle people but because of the Covid this may find a rebalance. Automation is going to certainly play a big role. The vendors that restaurants will look forward would be the vendors who have got highest level of automation at their factories, operations. And, more importantly consumer behavior is going to change.
Outsource whatever you can: As restaurants are all gearing up to roll their businesses, they are looking for ways to re-start their business and for them outsourcing came as handy. “The short term practice that we are looking in the middle east is outsource whatever you can, working capital is very important at this point in time,” shared Sandeep Sharma, Head- Procurement & Supply Chain, Domino’s Pizza ( Alamar FoodS) MENAP.
Reducing Wastage: Avoiding over buying, purchasing the ingredient you only need will be of much important post covid era. By reducing wastage at the restaurants, hotel, people can both save money and environment. “My top priority would be whichever ways I can minimize the wastage for my system,” pointed Deepa Prasad, Director- Procurement & Supply chain- South Asia, IPC ( Subway) who also believed that in future restaurants would proceed with eco-friendly packaging rather than the plastic packaging.
Collaborations is way forward: Enforcing relationships for strategic procurement would be the future of supply chain sector. You need to have collaborative partnerships. There is no word called vendor now, the restaurant sector will have to look for partnerships now. The vendor is not going to work now.
Connecting with partners: Joint meeting with partners and re-assuring them of your presence because they also are going through lot of pain and lot of money in the market that they will probably never get will help in a big way and will be biggest trend going forward. So, re-assuring them that even if there is a delay we are there for them.
Speed is the way forward: If you have to get your product right, execute everything and adopt it on time, you will need to do it fast as compared to pre-covid era. Now, it will be all about how fast have you adopted the change and how innovative you are with it. “We need to be agile on it. We can’t rely on someone for a product for months and then wait for it. We will have to get the speed, speed of the idea, execution,” said Sanjay Goyal, VP- Supply Chain Management, Lite Bite Foods for whom partners and speed is very important for smoothly running the business.
Focus on people: We need to focus on our people, employees. We need to take care about them as they are the one because of who our business is running. “Today, it is about cross- utilizing and not letting go the people as they are the most important pillar of the business,” added Kunal Gupta, Director- Supply Chain, Bateel International who is managing over 200 F&B outlets (Bateel café’s and boutiques, Godiva Café’s , Tim Hortons, Coldstone Creamery and Sbarro Pizza) across Middle East and Europe.
Technology is the key: Technology has changed the game of every business during this period. And, it is surely going to be the biggest change maker for the restaurant and food sector. There’s no denying that going forward everyone knows that eCommerce is going to be permanent and we need to change according the trend.
Hygiene and sanitization: “Going forward sanitization, hygiene will become very important where people would like to know about the source of the product. We will have to ensure that the product is sourced, procured and is at the restaurant meeting the complete hygiene and sanitization process,” concluded Nitin Nagrale, Founder, HPMF.