Reopening businesses after Covid-19: the biggest hurdle.
Surviving closure has been a true test for hospitality businesses, but those who have made it this far will know the real hurdle is yet to come.
Last week Michael Gove confirmed that when Covid-19 restrictions begin to get relaxed, hospitality will be the last industry to resume normal operations. Despite the government’s assistance for businesses during temporary closure, there is still uncertainty around the on-going support available to hospitality businesses who will be operating at a significantly reduced capacity whilst having to maintain enough cash-flow to keep up with overheads.
The UK government has been working on a 3-phase approach to lifting lockdown restrictions. With this, the best-case-scenario would see pubs and restaurants reopening at earliest, the end of this summer. However social distancing will still likely be in effect presenting a huge challenge ahead for these businesses to sustain themselves.
As restrictions gradually lift, the toughest challenge facing hospitality and retail businesses will be to survive reopening.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has called out for the government to take this into consideration with a third of all hospitality businesses likely to face permanent closure without continued financial support.
The industry is however turning to technology driven solutions to help drive business online during this slow period. How have businesses adapted?
In the USA, Grubhub and Uber Eats saw a 10% increase in self-sign ups as restaurants turned to dine-in food delivery to keep business going. Across the UK, local delivery listing sites have popped up such as the Liverpool Independent Delivered Services - making it easy for customers to find and support local independent businesses who are offering home deliveries.
For a lot of hospitality and retail businesses, delivery isn’t a service that they can readily provide. In this case pre-pay and voucher schemes can give loyal customers the chance to support their favourite venues.
Yoello has launched a completely free pre-pay service for Cardiff businesses. Merchants can quickly set up a digital profile on a web-app to sell products and services to customers that can be redeemed when the business resumes trade. This is a free to use platform backed by local organisations such as the Cardiff Council, FORCardiff and Invest in Cardiff.