What lessons to take from the Covid_19 era when it comes to F&B business ?
A question that every business should be asking and planning ahead in order to get a more resilient business module in the future . Yet I would like to share my personnel observations of how did this disease impact mainly on restaurant and overall F&B business.
When it comes to dine in the restaurant , part of visiting a restaurant , in addition to the need to satisfy cravings for certain food that is offered in that particular place is the Social part of it , where socializing is part of people's lifestyle where a restaurant is a place to meet friends , invite connections , celebrate occasions , a place to see and be seen....
This point particularly is changing and will be impacted on short and medium term , as people will prefer to consider smaller circle of connections to meet over to celebrate an occasion , choice of place would be definitely an outdoor with more spacing between invitees and more likely this is going to be a trend that will continue for quiet sometime .
Restaurants with a large capacity that accommodate large groups would be suffering and experiencing smaller groups and less celebrations as a result .
When it comes to visiting restaurants for specific meal periods such as Breakfast , Lunch or dinner , those restaurants that are destination for breakfast meal will remain sustainable as this is a meal period where people would come eat and leave a restaurant in less than an hour so families and individuals will keep this meal period on their menu.
When it comes to Business lunch , with many of the restaurants that are depending on this type of business segments , this is definitely going to change , as a shift towards take away , delivery and even making own meals at home will be replacing business lunch gatherings and this is expected to be for short and medium terms, which is expected to continue until end of 2022.
When it comes again for dinner which is strongly related to the first point addressed which is "Socializing " , once again dinner will be the most impacted meal period as the loss of large groups will remain to be a pain for this particular meal period but couples and small families might still be considering going out for dinner in the upcoming period .
The question will be , what would be future dining trend(s) ? with no doubt , take away and food delivery will remain a growing business , but we shouldn't forget the Fast food restaurant business including Drive Thru ! which was the biggest winner during this period , with major cities locking down their hospitality and mainly dine in restaurants business , almost all have allowed drive thru business / delivery & take away to remain open , where I can personally see daily queues of cars at the drive thru of majority of the well reupdated fast food chains , this sector of F&B business is so far the most sustainable and will keep growing faster .
Will there be exceptions to the above ? definitely , it all depends on brand reputation , positioning & Community lifestyle and dining habits that will all have impact either positively or negatively on the area's F&B future , but no doubt that international chains and well known brands will be more sustainable on the short and medium run as most of the businesses that are closing down unfortunately are for independent entrepreneurs that are not able to sustain and keep their business on their toes with the lower incomes and profits generated .
As a conclusion , we all need to look at our business modules , relook at their sustainability on short and medium term and set strategic plans for the future where we should be expecting and getting ready for anything that is similar or might even be worse than Covid-19 , as it seems more the globalization is on the rise , the highest are the risks and as we say the whole world becomes as a small village , isn't it ?