“The Master in Hospitality Management gives you opportunities around the world”30 March, 2020
#unopuntosiete: the voice of the hospitality sector to confront the coronavirus crisis2 April, 2020
Josep M. Vallsmadella Camós is the Corporate Director in Marketing and Strategy Ibersol Restauraçao-Spain Group. Ibersol Group has about 700 restaurants in Portugal, Spain and Angola; employing over ten thousand workers. The group’s main own brands and franchises are Pans & Co, Ribs, FrescCo, Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Ibersol Travel. After speaking to its Corporate Director in Marketing and Strategy, Josep M. Vallsmadella, we know how they face the changes caused by the crisis of the coronavirus, in a scenario that he typifies as “Black Swan”.
What has been the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on your company at an economic and structural level?
Following the Spanish Government’s indications, last March 14th we closed the restaurants in Spain both for the Dine-in service as well as for delivery and take away. Some restaurants were kept open in the airports in order to provide service.
So, what’s next?
The entire marketing department is analysing how consumer behaviour towards restaurants may differ after the crisis and is also working on post-COVID options. We also have a part of the R&D team working on developing products and offers that are suitable both in terms of ingredients and the “value for money” ratio for once the activity is reactivated.
The consumer will focus again on food safety and contact with restaurants and this is where the big brands give more guarantees.
What new scenario can arise in the restaurant sector when the quarantine ends?
It will depend on two factors: one, the duration of the crisis and the psychological impact it leaves on consumers and, the other, the economy and the economic measures taken by governments. There is no doubt that for a while the consumer will focus again on food safety and contact with restaurants and this is where the big brands give more guarantees. It must also be said that the use of delivery can be strengthened.
At a consumption level, a very rapid recovery is not expected after the crisis because the economy will be very badly affected. In this sense it will be critical that the European authorities and each country’s governments adopt expansive measures with a high injection of monetary funds and strong tax cuts to help both individuals, who are the basis of consumption, and the companies, that are the pillar of production.
We are in front of a Black Swan type scenario, that is to say, an abnormal event without precedents that generates great uncertainty and volatility…
Finally, what recommendations would you give to other entrepreneurs?
First: Keep Calm, because you can’t have an impact on sales, only costs. We are in front of a Black Swan type scenario, that is to say, an abnormal event without precedents that generates great uncertainty and volatility… This means that we have to take very thoughtful decisions on a daily basis.
Second: Do not put economy before health. Both must be worked on in parallel, but without forgetting the real priority.
Third: Read well what is happening and how everything will change so that we can progress as a society and evolve as a species. Whoever understands these social and anthropological changes will be more prepared for the post-Covid era.
Fourth: The key is knowledge. Mistakes are made for lack of sufficient knowledge, and problems are only solved with adequate knowledge. Evolution and progress depend on knowledge. It must be taken more seriously, and also those who possess it to a greater extent and use it for good. Progress depends on knowledge.