We need to think beyond the ‘now’. Presently, our focus is on ‘getting back to normal’; but that won’t happen because ‘normal’ has disappeared forever. When the COVID-19 episode is all but over, a ‘new normal’ will be the order of the day. Those who plan for it will succeed; those who wait to see what happens will find it harder!
In the post-coronavirus era, every food business will have to plan, execute and continually adapt to the new reality of food and hospitality. Hospitality may never return to the close-quarter customer-interface, casualness, generosity and personalised service that we knew pre-COVID-19. Sales recovery may not eventuate fully, perhaps not until early 2021 or beyond.
By the time this article is published, the intellectual post-mortem of COVID-19 will have begun and hygiene will remain top-of-mind for much of the community because the psychology of many customers has substantially changed in a very short period of time. Businesses big and small have been decimated, highlighting in no uncertain terms the precarious short-term cashflow cycles that many operators run on.