With 72,000 restaurants, cafes and bars in the UK working out the logistics and next moves whilst trading in a pandemic, the latest round of measures declared by the Government have been met with a withering sense of defeat by many small business owners. Curfews of 10 o’clock for eating and drinking in pubs and restaurants means that a whole subsector of businesses will suffer from the impact. The late night eateries and food vans especially will take a big hit.
Twitter has been rife with satirical jokes about the virus only turning up at pubs just after 10pm but the idea itself seems to be a jab at a younger generation socially mingling and congregating in the later stages of the night. What real impact this will have on slowing an exponential rise of virus cases is yet to be seen. The move has put many pub owners and small food businesses on a backfoot with an unknown future. It is of course, a horrible and difficult situation and experimenting with options seems to be the way the UK is dealing with it.
Whilst there is some relief it is not a total lockdown, at least yet, with the second spike for the virus inevitable, the problem for small food and drink businesses is understanding how to simply balance the budgets. Jobs and businesses will be lost, inevitably. There are some ‘must-dos’ with the new normal. One certainty is a lot of custom in online more now. Don’t rely on footfall alone or passive trade, and create ways for ordering or pickup. More than ever, look into digital marketing – lots of online marketing, social medias and be SEO conscious so you are found easily in searches online, to make people know you are open for business. Events and locations marketing may no longer be possible or that helpful.
Of course, all this comes after an exhausting period of changing floorplans, seating arrangements and serving protocols and navigating the details of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, offering customers 50% off their bill to participating venues. With a six month ‘new normal’ estimated, with curfews, local lockdowns and more, the Christmas and New Year, two major events for food and drink celebration, will now need independents’ to think strategically on how to fit their businesses to restraints and the challenging times we remain in.
We hope Find Tasty can help at least a little in making sure your business is on the digital map with a little marketing. Stay safe out there and keep up what you do – your customers will come if you show them you’re willing to make life easier for them, something we all need right now!