Hospitality Reopening Actions
These are my thoughts and recommend actions for reopening hospitality or tourism business – in Scotland. The same action points can be applied to other locations.
My key message is to have a structured approach for reopening. Below listed actions can be applicable by B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, pubs, and visitor attraction etc.
I believe that the following 6 Topics need to be addressed:
How financially secure is your business?
- Know your costs: FIXED & VARIABLE
- Knowing your break-even point – it is the difference between making a profit or a loss
- Set a “realistic” business forecast AND business budget. You must consider demand changes; the customer markets will be different to prior C-19.
- Establish projections for a 13-week cash-flow plan – rolling on an ongoing basis
- In essence: check if your business is viable in the medium to long term? – REMEMBER: cash is king!
Is your business ready to open the doors?
- Have you followed the health guidelines for your sector?g. “Working Safely during C-19” and government directives.
- Is your COVID 19 Risk Assessment suitable and sufficient? Are you focussed on the health and well-being of all your customers and employees?
- Cleaning & hygiene: has your cleaning schedule been upgraded? Are your distancing rules clearly explained?
- Are all the goods you need for reopening ordered? For example, food and drink stocks, sanitising & cleaning goods. etc
- Is all the machinery and equipment at your venue in good working-order? Have fire safety tests been carried out, is the water system safe – flushed all taps, tested temperatures?
Employee Management (HR)
Is your workforce ready to cope with the “new normal”?
- Who comes back to work and who is NOT needed? Do you have a “workforce plan”? Be careful: laid off staff still have rights!!
- How do staff feel to come back? Have there been any safety or general health concerns? Have you conducted a health questionnaire? Think about the mental conditions of some employees…
- Are there any vulnerable staff? For example, staff with complex health needs, age related issues, anyone shielding, diabetes etc. A specific risk assessment must be carried out for these employees.
- Your staff training is extremely important and cannot be underestimated. Employees must be trained/inducted in the new way of doing business. They need clear guidance and constant reminders in order to meet the adherence to the new rules.
Since closing your business have you kept up with your statutory requirements?
- Licensing requirements – are all personal licenses up to date? Do you have any premises license restrictions?
- Have you checked that any planned redundancies are within the law?
- Did you upgrade or made changes to your Terms & Conditions or payment arrangements? Have you informed your customers?
- Your insurance cover – are you covered for any eventualities relating to re-opening/operating under pandemic conditions?
Marketing & Promotion
Is your marketing message clear and considering the new circumstances?
- What do you know about your new markets – have you identified who will be your “new” customers – your customers will most likely be different from before COVID…
- … because staycation means Scottish/English/Irish markets – what are their needs?
- Have you thought about the “customer experience”? – established packages which cater to the new customer needs?
- Will you let your customers know that the “old ways” are currently not working but that there are different innovative ideas now on offer?
- How will you send out the message to your new markets? Is your website up-to date? Have you devised a promotional plan for the next few weeks or months?
- Communication with your guests, customers and visitors is absolutely paramount!
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
- Do you have contingency measures in place in the event of a regional lock down – or in case of further travel restrictions?
- Have you looked at various scenarios what happens if: work case, “normal” case or best-case scenario happen?
- What funding options do you have under those scenarios?
- How will your cash-flow or funding be impacted by any interruptions?
- Did you establish a core-team with which you need to operate?
- Will you be able to show operational agility and be able to respond to a volatile recovery period?
- You must create commercial flexibility. Talk with your landlord, lender, suppliers – if you have not yet already. The re-opening impact must be softened
So, my message is – review those 6 topics for your business. We are in a very new and different economic environment.
There is so much information out there – guidelines, directives, and advice. You must decide what is necessary for your business to survive and to thrive when the C-19 “dust” settles down. My recommendation is to respond in a structured way.
Discussing these topics with an external source helps. I know it does help because my contacts have told me so.
I guarantee you wont be disappointed. So, contact me for a virtual chat.