How was the re-opening of your business and how was it carried out in line with safety procedures put in place to allow social distancing?
Masks, visors, sanitisers, gloves, sprays, signs, longer shifts where possible to ease social distancing, training, communication, assurance, food safety advice & lots of genuine care.
How is the general feeling and feedback from your team members and your customers now the lockdown is over?
It doesn’t feel like it’s over since many of lockdown measures have come so late such as recent quarantine and now mandatory wearing of masks just starting in retail that we fear may simply reduce footfall and further challenge our economy.
We make no comment on scientific approach but know that whilst many may feel assured by these extra measures many will simply avoid retail areas altogether given unpleasant nature & side effects of having to wear masks for prolonged period.
Personally, I am replacing real hugs with virtual ones … working hard to replace warmth of touch with extending warmth of heart and compassion … after 40 years in industry that’s a hard cultural change... but this old dog is trying and will not be beaten!
What role has technology played in supporting your re-opening plan?
Huge…I see our production figures by hour centrally & know every item that is made in real time, a separate system is showing me live photos of our display showcases and through technology I can talk to, engage & motivate our heroes in store.
What market trends are you seeing since re-opening?
Online delivery dropped once bars & restaurants reopened but it only took couple of weeks to bounce back up once pent up demand was satisfied. Healthy food made fresh daily from real ingredients still leads the way….
What positive lessons do we need to learn from what the industry has been through?
Flexibility & benefits of technology, this washed with proven values of putting our people first and we know our teams may forget what we say today but will remember how we made them feel for years to come…
We learnt the amazing resilience of our teams and incredible support – I am blessed to work with people in field who inspire me daily, the generosity and commitment seen throughout crisis brought our team together like never before.
It’s also about speed of reaction & fast decisions to protect future of our teams and ability to adapt our business and change. Whilst there were positive lessons throughout crisis, in same vein as Marcus Aurelius and overcoming obstacles and keep close to our customers and the market – we are changing way we run, manage & are driving our business and changing for the better with different focus for future but always putting people first and only with quality produce made by our skilled chefs.
Date Published: 28th July 2020