We asked Paul Sloan of Diversity Leisure – the group behind Chaakoo, Mezzidakia, Cuan-Mor, Topolabamba, The Garrison, the Waterfront Fishouse and The Ben Nevis (Ft William), the opportunity to give us his take on the future of the trade.
‘Unprecedented Times!! That’s what they call it, therefore it will require unprecedented ways to trade. Our industry as we knew it will be changed for some time, maybe changed for a long time.
If the Zoom meetings take over, less people will work from the office, that will impact our lunch trade long term. If carry out foods becomes a way of life, that will impact our evening trade long term, so long term we have to change, maybe we will offer delivery all day to make up for the losses but most of all we need to be ready to adapt.
Adaptation of all sorts, we must now make sure we have great teams, who will work hard to pull the restaurants and bars through it, it’s not a time for selfishness on either parties side, owners and employees have to work together.
We will need to work lean and most importantly have done your homework, for every £1.000 you trade we must know our costs to the penny and how much our break even is to the penny each week. We must work with our suppliers for better pricing, everyone must carry a piece of this load or much of our beloved industry will be gone.
If I was giving any real advice after 35 years in our trade, know when to cut, if you are trading below your break even every week, cut before you lose everything.
It will be a tough year but those of us who adapt enough will survive and flourish at the other end, so take care of our guests, they need our restaurants to be scrubbed top to bottom, they need to see us cleaning with antibacterial all the time to trust our industry, show them we are safe and most of all be safe!”