M, m, my 'Corona'🎶
No I am not trivializing the issue (enter levity here!) and no, I don't have the Corona Virus, but the way things are going it may be inevitable!?
What a roller coaster of emotions I/we have been through in the last few weeks!
Initially it was 'ah it's just like the flu that comes and goes every year', no need to panic.
Then the 'Bog Roll Wars', funny and unbelievable at first, then it gets you thinking - will I miss out? Insane!
Next, are the experts, with varying opinions, from 'no need to panic' to 'we don't really know how bad this will get'!
Hell, no wonder there is a sense of uncertainty, panic and fear!
Now we have governments closing borders, initiating travel restrictions, closing down festivals, sporting events and large gatherings.
They tell us to limit human contact, keep clean and stay home if you can.
And this is the problem.
Life must go on!
My final and most frightening emotion is that of my family!
My parents and in laws are not so young anymore and in the 'danger' zone.
My nephew is only 5, so he is also in the line of fire. This is the stuff of nightmares, that literally wakes you up at night! My answer to this is, to keep family close and bloody look after each other.
Speaking from a hospitality perspective, our livelihood is base on the public coming through our doors.
So what do we do to reduce the risk of shutting up shop?
Do the right thing!
Follow safety procedures, ensure all staff have access to hand wash/sanitizing facilities, wear gloves as much as possible (constantly changing!) Screen for any signs of sickness and send them home etc....
Now, this last one is tricky. One, if you are casual, you don't get paid - that's a tough pill to swallow. 'Hopefully' there are rainy day dollars put away to get through the tough times, if not.....?
Secondly, how does this effect operations? Many hands make for light work, but no hands close you down!
My suggestions is to have a strategic plan in place to reduce operations to a minimum. For instance, reduce the size of the menu to allow for less BOH staff to deliver. Limit seating to allow for less FOH staff. If you have a large venue, screen off areas to avoid that 'barn' look. This will also reduce running costs etc.
Having said all this, if your customers don't do the right thing, your pretty much buggered!!
Look at other 'safe' forms of generating revenue, take away or delivering food? Be creative, don't give up!
To end on a brighter note, this will blow over, it's just HOW we weather the storm!?
Stay strong, compassionate and aware!