We are one of hundreds of thousands of SME’s across the globe constantly looking into our crystal ball to determine when normal will finally be realized. And yet with every passing day there seems to be ‘just one more thing’ for us to avoid tripping over to get to that place.
Now I am not simply referring to ‘lockdowns’, ‘isolation’, ‘quarantine’ or the latest “shadow lockdowns”where we are simply living in a lockdown environment with no such declaration, I am simply referring to the systems filters (fears) that are being placed infront of the eyes of consumers decision making abilities across those activities and pastimes they used to do and take for granted.
This is just my opinion but having run a food and beverage consulting agency for the last 9 years, as well as recently opening our first restaurant venture back in Australia, it seems obvious to me the added number of factors people are taking into consideration when considering their buying patterns and process for purchase are far greater than they have ever been before.
We, as an industry, have managed to incorporate all the necessary cultural, structural, emotional and physical applications to minimize buyers’ hesitancy when dining out. For example, you really can’t walk down a street in Melbourne right now without navigating newly erected outdoor dining precincts. These cordoned off areas on the footpath, increase operational pressure on a system already stretched to capacity with labor shortages, and yet still provide additional options for consumers who would, for now, still prefer to eat outside rather than in. And yet, for many businesses they remain empty. What more can be done to calm the concerns of the people.
We are, in the end, a people industry and we need people for our industry be able to pick itself up off the floor and revive, then strive and subsequently thrive.
Those amazing hospitality workers that come in each day, masks on in the middle of summer, still trying to eschew their vibrant personalities to guests from behind a shroud, are proud of what they can do to add some genuine ‘customer experience’ in these challenging times.
Maybe due to the current circumstances, many of us have become lazy. Sure enough there are plenty of home delivery options available, but remember, most of those Delivery options are attached to a restaurant that , in all fairness, would rather have your presence in their outlet, where they can look after you, experience the cuisines and the environment for which it was designed, and enjoy the felling of taking the first steps back to normal again.
Because, after all of this, we deserve it.