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EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON FOOD INDUSTRY & TIPS TO RECOVER

EFood security across the globe has got affected due to COVID-19 pandemic. The agricultural economy is largely affected, the supply chain remains shocked. Each of which has eventually led to a shortage and struggle across all related industries. It’s all intertwined, nothing is left untouched. Effects of COVID-19 has left the world stranded, confused and most certainly in chaos.

One of the most severely affected is the F&B industry. The sales have not just dipped but has seen an absolute decline. The current situation is forced upon by the COVID-19 crisis. The year 2020 seems to have brought the food industry to a standstill, off which recovery expected is yet contemplated upon by the industry specialists and economists. In the case of several startups fanned across the nation, are trying to build their businesses, say – “The situation is crippling and significant at the same time.” Doe this mean all is lost? Will the situation better out in the coming months? How soon can the food industry recover from sudden and unexpected losses? Well, the answers are eagerly awaited to unfold.

ALL IS NOT GONE YET

The catering companies are knocked at the brim, the wedding season being hit abruptly, parties are called off, bookings are cancelled, restaurant kitchens are vacant and dry, its a hard hit. But, we yet question sustainability during the crisis. There is still hope, which lies in the digital space. Crisis of any kind has led to the birth of varied solutions, bypasses, inventions and innovations. With a few readily available at our disposal, why not utilize them till the last grain is fed?

REVIVE BY DIGITALIZING YOUR PRESENCE

The opportunity now lies in digitalizing your presence, marking up your brand presence, bringing an exuberant online experience to your customers, collaborating with the third-party aggregators more innovatively, revamping your menu accustomed to the current situation and lot more. It is not always about the ill-effects, we can also look up the brighter aspect.

  • With dine-in being prohibited, take-away isn’t! Your customers may not be able to have their favourite dish sitting at their favourite restaurant, but they can certainly have it ordered online and enjoy the food delivered at their doorstep. That’s meeting convenience amidst pandemic & crisis.
  • Social media is the go-to place! Build your community, build your brand audience even stronger, connect with food enthusiasts across your city, have yourself tagged with some of the popular industry influencers. In short, build your digital constellation and shine brighter. Social media presence will only help you attract more and more audiences, help you gain popularity, offering freebies & discounts, running contests & promotions, being different yet amongst the crowd is the new age thing which is here to stay longer.
  • Website is a potent platform, take it seriously! It is often a topic of debate, whether to have a website of your food business, café, bakery, restaurant or not to have one. Well, this is the time to invest and invent the way we approach buying perishable food items or choosing our favourite dish from the restaurant menu. Just how easy breezy it gets while you hop on to Domino’s or Pizza Hut’s website. One of the brighter aspects of having a website is – you can directly have a connection with your customer base, promote your menu or offer discount coupons all at your discretion.
  • Third-party aggregators are running the show! In the current scenario and the near future, third-party aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, UberEats etc. will run the show. By this we mean, these third entities will build a strong connect between the restaurants and their customer base. It is a great way to keep your revenue flowing inward.

FOLLOWING A STANDARD HYGIENE PROTOCOL

Hygiene has always been essential to living, but it is only recently that hygienic living has made its way into an individual’s life, globally. Maybe it is the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced hygiene on to people but having said that, as a business one must adapt to changes as quickly and readily as possible. Same is the case with following a standard hygiene protocol across all operations & functions of your food business.

Few things that can be practised diligently to ensure your safety standards are well-maintained, and to assure your customer’s trust remains firm:

  • Hygienic cooking standards
  • Well sanitized kitchen and cooking area
  • Face/mouth mask, gloves, head-cover and apron must be your chef’s essentials
  • Alongside, mask, pocket sanitizers, gloves should be made a mandatory part of your staff’s uniform/delivery gear
  • Sanitization stalls across the facility including the kitchen
  • Well sanitized facility along with properly disinfected dishwashing areas

There can be several other tips to overcome or fight a pandemic, and each may vary from business to business, and region to region. What remains stable is the core. The wave of change brings a storm of enormous opportunities along with it, it is to identify, propitiate and utilize them for your benefit changes the game. So, by following the above-mentioned points on hygiene and digitalizing your business, whilst you highlight your processes and procedures not only will gain the trust of your audience but also build you a firm community to bank on in times of crisis, such as the current one.