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The efficiency of restaurants after Covid-19 will be a fundamental factor. What strategies will be more effective to achieve greater profitability of the F&B business? What value proposals will we be able to offer to the customer of a restaurant in a post-Covid19 scenario? These and other doubts were solved in the webinar “The restaurants after Covid-19” in which participated Sergio Mellado, Corporate Director of F&B of Catalonia Hotels, member of the and former student of EUHT StPOL; Lluís Codó, professor of EUHT StPOL expert in HORECA and Lluís Serra, General Manager of EUHT StPOL and president of EUHOFA International.
The importance of F&B in a hotel
Sergio Mellado, Corporate Director of F&B at Catalonia Hotels and member of the “Top F&B Club” opened the webinar and highlighted the importance of the F&B department in a hotel: “It is a differential factor and is of capital importance: it not only helps to increase the hotel’s occupancy but also helps to improve the reputation and prestige of the brand”. It therefore considers that the F&B department should be analysed in terms of the profitability of the space but also in terms of the contributions to the hotel establishment.
In relation to the management of the F&B area in hotels, Lluís Codó pointed out that its complexity has led in recent years to the union of restaurant groups with large hotel companies to offer and manage the restaurant service. As an advantage: to make the management of the restaurant easier for an external person specialized in this concept. The risk: losing control of the process, of the customer’s experience. “You have to negotiate the deal well,” Mellado said.
Strategies to improve restaurant profitability after Covid-19
According to Codó, the reopening of restaurants after Covid-19 must be focused on adaptation in three areas to improve the profitability of the business. The three basic aspects to be taken into account are:
- Transparency in external communication: explaining how we work and talking about details such as hygiene and safety protocols, cleanliness will be fundamental to overcome the customer’s fear of coming.
- Operations: the conditions of the new post-Covid-19 scenario will require a redesign of everything that happens inside the restaurant from the moment a customer enters the restaurant until he leaves.
- Management of economic resources and readjustment to the new scenario with strategies such as limiting the restaurant’s offer, analyzing cost management and optimizing sales margins. “If we reduce the menu, and the capacity is more limited, it does not make sense to reduce prices, because the margins will fall. We will have to analyse the restaurant’s offer and consider how to maintain or increase margins”.
“The crisis is an opportunity for improvement,” said Mellado, and he recommended “above all, applying common sense. As strategies to face the new post-Covid-19 scenario, he added some recommendations:
- Extend the kitchen and service hours to fight against the capacity limitation.
- Not to lower prices but to “increase the value of the dish” and to have shorter and more limited menus, with seasonal and local products.
- Eliminate superfluous costs and optimize productivity. Work on the suggested sale, the upselling.
- Use technology as an aid to management.
Value proposals to offer the customer of a restaurant
“The client is willing to come back, this is the big advantage,” said Codó. And in this sense, both him and Mellado pointed out some value proposals to offer to restaurant customers in a post-Covid19 scenario:
- It will be basic to transmit security and confidence to the customer, besides the transparency in communication, the service will have a fundamental role.
- Give importance to the environment: “Any gastronomic concept has to have a story behind it, any hotel business has to be mimicked with its environment and any restaurant business within a hotel has to be attractive to local customers,” said Mellado. The brand’s own personality and story will be fundamental to differentiate it from the competition.
- Seek quality in every detail: implement not only economic management and control systems, but also quality systems.
- Think about betting for the take away and delivery business to gain liquidity, being aware that before activating this part of the business, it is necessary to design processes, define prices, protocols, etc.
- To bet on the training of human teams: in safety and hygiene, but also in other areas that will be necessary in the new post-Covid19 scenario.