It is crazy to think that it has been 15 weeks since the UK government put in place a nationwide lockdown on March 23rd. bartlett mitchell has used this unprecedented event to think about how we will re-open and what kind of world we will all be emerging in to. Covid-19 has been the great accelerator of change. The real question facing business is: do you have the entrepreneurial culture required to get ahead?
Agility is key
It is astonishing to be part of an industry brimming with good news stories and businesses doing remarkable things in tough times. The #bmFamily💜💚 has been leading the charge in looking after their communities, colleagues and clients as well as raising vital money for the NHS. Our team of foodies have shown a great deal of agility and we see this as being the key attribute required post-Covid-19.
Agility, in our enterprising teams and focusing on innovation is a bartlett mitchell founding principle and part of our FOODIES values. These values have served us well to deal with the challenges of Covid-19, which has been a great accelerator of change in an already fast-paced world. Keeping up, as a caterer or a client, is tougher than ever. Coronavirus has produced a moving feast of changes to government policy and working patterns. No-one has a crystal ball so we must all be ready to adapt while staying to core values and principles.
Already, we have seen concrete and lasting examples of change as a result of Covid-19. Early on in the crisis, cash withdrawals in the UK dropped by 60% as handling money increased the transmission of the virus. Caterers must continue to respond by making the switch from cash to contactless payment solutions. These can be linked to a building pass or your personal debit/credit card. This is a trend that is set to continue well beyond the end of lockdown as we are starting to see in China and the Nordics. bartlett mitchell has identified this, and our partnerships ePOS providers has seen cash use in our business fall. We are ready for a brave new cashless society and will support our clients in achieving this.
With 89% of consumers worried about the health impact of Coronavirus, it is crucial that caterers ensure customer safety. One way of doing this is rolling out apps which show customers when it is safe to visit their staff restaurant, and which allow for mobile ordering and payment. These were gaining significant traction pre-March 23rd, but they will be vital in the new normal. Staying ahead of the curve will be crucial, and in just 2 weeks bartlett mitchell developed and rolled out PearPay – which will transform the way our customers interact with our services. You can read more about PearPay here.
A recent survey has shown that customers will place more value on food and beverage quality (+10%) and healthy eating (+11%). Caterers must be able to offer incredible fresh food and will need to have agility and depth to their supply chains to build a loyal customer base. As a “Fundamentally Food” caterer, this is what we love to do, and our creative teams of foodies are eager to get back to work so they can continue to create unforgettable experiences through food. Our company Nutritionist, Hebe Richardson recently received an Acorn award for her work on nutrition and will be using her experience to create balanced menus for our clients. This will be invaluable in rebuilding customer loyalty when we return to our offices.
The New Normal
It is clear, then, that months’ worth of changes will take place in just a few weeks, making agility a key attribute for caterers. At bartlett mitchell we have been readying ourselves for the New Normal. Our teams have put in lots of work already and we are excited to get back to our customers. As an independent, debt free business, bartlett mitchell is ready to face the challenges of the post-Covid world head-on.
bartlett mitchell’s top 5 tips to staying agile
- Embrace technology and use its power to ‘wow’ your customers;
- Stay connected. Keep the conversation going with your colleagues, clients, suppliers and industry friends. You can read more about how bartlett mitchell is doing that here
- Promote a culture of entrepreneurialism. bartlett mitchell is proud to have enterprising teams who feel empowered to solve problems created by Covid-19;
- Learn publicly. No-one has all the answers so be open and honest in your dialogue and learn together with your teams, clients and contractors
- Don’t stop innovating. No need to wait for another crisis to keep the momentum going – innovation in all you do will be more important than ever.
*Stats from CACI insight report