23 Apr MIGHTY SMALLS
It is undeniable that COVID-19 has been shaking up our life patterns; the familiar living model is disrupted.
-School shut, kids are learning the new way to educate while teachers explore the creative way to deliver their knowledge.
-Parents adjust their working lives to be …well… parents.
-Hospital reschedules their schedules, at the same time, becoming the forefront to fight the pandemic wars.
From big establishments to small, we are altering to what is called the new normal.
On 17th April 2020, the Government decided to extend the lockdown further. In the meantime, The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) announced that UK economics forecast to shrink by 35% in the second quarter of this year. Unemployment could increase to more than two million due to the corona crisis.
Consumers are converting their way of spending to micro-enterprises, local farms, community shops, and independent restaurants/ cafes. While many businesses are waiting for the results from Small Business’ Grant Fund or The Retail Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Fund. Numerous SMEs are trying, thinking outside the box, or even thriving and operating in safe ways. Small is a new mighty indeed.
I spoke to three Thai restaurant owners who revealed their tips on how to adapt and deliver service during this strange time.
Adjust the working pattern:
17 years in Hospitality business situated at the heart of Headingly, Leeds Jino Thai was quickly reached out to additional Delivery providers from the start “ When the lockdown announced we realized the sharp decline of income coming in. We expanded our delivery partners from Deliveroo to now Uber Eats and Just Eat, which increased our potential customers. We have seen a marked increase in orders” Jino hasn’t stopped their services since the lockdown started. They are expecting even further uplift.
Focusing on Delivery and Take away is also the strategy that Sopa Thai Restaurant, Supermarket, and Distributer, in Southend-On- Sea, adapted their business formula “We’ve changed to contactless delivery/takeaway service. For the market section, customers will need to make an appointment prior to their visits and follow the social distancing guidelines. However, customers can also order by phone, emails, etc. We are offering free delivery. Our customers’ health & wellbeing is our first priority.
The Monkey and The Dog in York suggested, “ We have changed our opening times, and provided alternative payment options”
Tips to share with others to survive and grow.
Jasmine, Jino Thai explained, “Though our produce costs have sharply risen due to the shortages, this doesn’t mean we compromise on the quality.
Ann, The monkey and The Dog added, “We closed for a couple of weeks to reflect, prepare and seek the opportunity to reach out to the new customers who are staying at home… Now we are up and running again… A little pause allowed us to explore the new ideas”
I also admired Nat, Sopa Thai owners spirit “Keep the business going as long and safe as you can, you may have to change. Use this opportunity to express your attitude to give back, support people who matter the most in this strange time i.e. key workers…it is not all about money. However, the core value, quality, and good customer services need to be maintained”
Going forward with positivity:
Though, all these mighty small owners are located in different parts of the country. They are sharing a sense of resilience and strong work ethics. The crisis unveiled their new opportunities; they are stepping up their games. Jasmine explained, “ We will re-valuate our position as a restaurant after the lockdown is lifted. Offering takeaway and delivery services is perhaps a direction which we may consider”
Nat stated, “ Now, we are fully running the takeaway and delivery services in our market section. We are aiming to invest our time/effort further. This strength time is certainly bringing the new opportunity to our business”
First thing that you are planning to do once this is all over.
One thing that they are all agreed with at Jino Thai, Sopa Thai, The Monkey and the Dog: they are going to throw a big party to all staff and customers to celebrate the big victory over COVID-19. The MIGHTY HEARTS indeed, and I certainly can’t wait.
These independent Thai businesses are championing many enterprises during this unprecedented time. I’m certain that with the strong work ethics Mighty Small folks will be phenomenal in the UK Hospitality Industry.
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