How to Transform Your Business to Stay Afloat During COVID-19
There’s been two vastly different outcomes for every business during this time of global crisis; success from adaption or failure and closure. Some companies inherently have it easier in this department, with the office world and many other sectors easily able to migrate the bulwark of tasks online. But for restaurants, essential services and the retail sector, the need to evolve your business to suit the times is paramount. And those that have managed to synchronize themselves with the demand around them have often seen unparalleled successes. As an example take a look at “the Belmont”. Friday and Saturday nights at the Hotel Belmont’s lounge and nightclub venues look a lot different today than they did a few months ago. Instead of people packed in shoulder-to-shoulder, drinking cocktails and dancing to music, the focus is now squarely on food, with parties of no more than six people sitting down for meals at sanitized tables that are spaced well apart and served by masked staff. Though a complete departure from the aesthetic of old, it is no doubt a necessary one that everyone has been on aboard complying with.
Don Falconer, the Hotel Belmont’s general manager of food and beverage went on to state that “when we shut down in March due to COVID-19, we really started putting a plan in place right away, knowing that when we reopened that there would be further restrictions and that we weren’t going to be able to pack the room the way we used to,”. That kind of long term planning and foresight are great tools considering the somewhat flexibility they’re now afforded in this position. Although many bars and nightclubs remain closed, those that have opened have had to make changes, ranging from operating on a reservation-only basis with table service to major pivots like what happened at The Living Room and The Basement at Hotel Belmont, in order to comply with provincial health-and-safety rules while staying viable.
Last week, dishearteningly after seeing an increasing number of positive COVID-19 test results particularly among younger people, provincial health officer Dr. Henry tightened the restrictions for bars and restaurants, so that all patrons must sit at a table — they cannot stand — and there is no liquor self-service and no dancing. Inspections will be more frequent and events must end by 11 p.m. The idea is to reduce lineups, gathering and pressure points and thus eliminate as much potential risk as possible. Some venues had already implemented similar rule and an even larger number have altered their business model in the recent months to accommodate the on-the-fly changes occurring to bylaws and regulations.
There’s so much that we still don’t fully understand, nor are we prepared to battle, in terms of the COVID-19 infection. So at this time safety and slow measures are the best way to move forward. If that means changing up the way you have to do business, that’s better than not doing business at all. Safety does and always should come first.
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