The moment hungry Brits have been waiting for is here – hospitality businesses are preparing to open to the public once again.
Our industry has been significantly affected, with changes set to be in place for months to come.
But as a steely and determined sector, the shared feeling among business owners is that while things have changed, from this will come innovation and success.
If like many other business owners, you are preparing to reopen in the coming weeks, here are the key things you must consider.
1. Be Legally Compliant
First things first, you need to make sure your establishment is safe and legally compliant for your staff and customers.
While the government’s official guidelines state that it’s “very unlikely” that Covid-19 can be transmitted via food, you will still need to increase your hygiene practices and supply all employees with adequate protective equipment.
This will mean speaking to suppliers about PPE for your staff – face visors and gloves are needed for those greeting customers and preparing food.
Display prominent signs to remind employees about increased handwashing and social distancing measures.
Your legal compliance with official guidelines can be spot-checked by health and safety officers. Anything less than full compliance could lead to the closure of your business.
You can read the full reopening guidelines from food.gov.uk here.
2. Display Strong Leadership
Now more than ever, hospitality teams need unwavering and robust leadership.
While it is likely that your team are eager to get back to work, there will, of course, be some trepidation.
Managers will need to adapt to new situations with confidence and clarity – you must make your team feel at ease in what will be a strange (at first) environment. And remember to keep your team motivated by displaying optimism and energy in everything you do; remember to lead by example.
It might be a while before your team and establishment settle into new procedures and changed roles, so empathy and patience are going to be key management principles to remember in this new climate.
Additionally, you will need to demonstrate agility in what will likely be a highly changeable environment. The government are relaxing and altering guidelines as and when they can to allow hospitality businesses more freedom – acting quickly to adopt new changes will set your establishment ahead of the pack and attract those all-important customers.
3. Be Market Aware
When you reopen again to your customers, you must be hyper market-aware during this time.
Now is not a time for rivalry; it’s a time for hospitality businesses to come together and help each other out – elements of which we have seen plenty of in recent months.
The recent #NationalTimeOut campaign, spearheaded by Street Feast founder Jonathan Downey has been supported by industry leaders from establishments which are typically rivals.
This campaign hopes to persuade the U.K. chancellor to put a nine-month freeze on rents for struggling hospitality businesses and has been supported by leading industry figures such as Alisdair Murdoch (CEO of Burger King), Pano Christou (CEO of Pret a Manger), John Torode and Nigella Lawson to name a few.
Is there anything locally you can get involved in to help other establishments and raise your profile? Stay connected and be visible on local social media platforms to let your customers know that you haven’t dropped off the radar, that you’re still here and acting positively to help your own and other local business get through this tough time.
4. Think to the Future
Everything you have been doing over the last three months will have been damage limitation to mitigate the impact on your business’ future and the lives of your team.
But now there needs to be a shift in focus. The hibernation period is over; it’s time to get back to full speed with a new attitude and a revived culture.
It’s been a tough few months, but business can use this time to strengthen what needed to be fixed and to come back even stronger with a positive mindset and a renewed, dynamic team.
It is those businesses which have, and continue to look after their staff, those who maintain positivity and are sensitive to current issues which will bounce-back quicker.
Hospitality organisations are nothing without great teams. If your employees have become disconnected due to Covid-19, and you need to rebuild your team – we can help.
We are helping hospitality and catering organisations right now find the staff they need to open again with a renewed sense of vitality.
If you’ve got current vacancies in your hospitality business, but have no time to hire and get your business legally compliant for your reopening – get in touch with us today on 0121 702 1428 or contact us here, and we can find you the staff you need.
About KSB Recruitment
We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with an obsessive attention to detail.
KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered.
We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire.