COVID-19 has turned 2020 into a challenging year for restaurants/bars.
They had to overcome many challenges, including:
- Not being able to receive guests for part of the year;
- Restrictions on how many guests they can receive and opening hours;
- Less demand due to customers being afraid of being infected
- Less demand due to lower consumer confidence.
I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to run a business and see it suddenly going to zero for reasons outside your control, especially when you have employees. The hustle required to overcome that is commendable.
I have been inspired by how certain establishments reacted to this (new) environment. Mr. Susan is an example of that.
Mr. Susan is a fantastic cocktail bar in Berlin. Here are a couple of things they have done this year:
- They started selling jars with their signature Kimchi.
- When restaurants/bars couldn’t receive guests, they began selling drinks and food for pickup and delivery.
- They started serving food indoors: Brunch, Ramen Nights
The health of a restaurant/bar, like any business, is highly influenced by the health of the market. And the sad truth is that the current market conditions are not favorable for this sector.
The “default state” is failure. And the only way to avoid it is to adapt. You have to try different products, different formats, and a different team.
The mindset changes from “how do I succeed?” to “how do we avoid failure?”. The focus is: How do we survive long enough until the market conditions start being in our favor? This stuff isn’t easy! It takes creativity, grit, and resourcefulness to get through it.
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