COVID-19 pandemic has been an unforeseen event of unprecedented scale and proportion. A few foresighted bakery business owners would have been in a better position to deal with the challenging business circumstances; however, a vast majority will have to experience and learn from this the hard way.
Due to sudden business closures and a lack of revenue, panicked business owners of bakeries may make impulsive decisions that may have a long-term consequence on their industry. The current epidemic condition might also make recuperation difficult and challenging.
Bakers will need to recognise the impact of the present crisis on their business and then plan and prepare accordingly in order to survive and navigate successfully through the current crisis and emerge stronger in the post-pandemic phase.
- Change as per the time demands
The pandemic has created an urgent need for more stringent hygiene requirements. A bakery must evaluate staff entry and customer contact points, environments, packaging and interactions. Demonstrate to your customers that hygiene is a priority and that all products are made, stored and sold in sanitary conditions with no chance of contamination.
- Plan your staff functions & roles smartly
Operate in shifts or teams to ensure better operability. Cross-train staff & rotate roles to maintain operations even with fewer staff. Avoid downsizing, if possible, as skilled technicians or bakers may be needed to quickly scale up when demand increases.
- Make your presence positively in the community
In times of need, lend your helping hand. Show empathy and support to your community. Donate unsold production & a small percentage of your production to feed the less fortunate in your vicinity. Start an initiative and encourage customers to support it. Provide a channel for people to help others.
- Optimize your operational methods
Economic depression post Covid-19 will require cutting costs, and traditional methods may not be effective. Consider reducing operating hours, producing only high-demand products, or analysing operations for further cost-reduction options.
- Explore new business models
As times change, bakers need to adapt to new operating models, emphasizing digital and store-to-door practices. Customers will avoid travelling to the store in the post Covid-19. Bakers can use third-party direct to home delivery services such as Uber eats, establish contracts with nearby townships or societies for daily deliveries, or use the franchisee model to expand their business and increase reach.
- Sustain, adapt and grow to meet the new demands
Professionals need to pay attention to sudden changes in food consumption trends. During health risks like COVID-19, consumers focus on safety, hygiene and healthy foods. Anticipating the market will help bakers prosper and make sure their products meet new demands. Market the benefits of products and launch them accordingly that meet new demands for health & wellness.
- Turn your consumers into loyalists
Shift your focus to building business worth, rather than net worth. Ask customers what they expect from you and strive to provide a better customer experience. Offer better pricing or perks to customers in times of low disposable income to build loyalty. Customers come and go, but loyal consumers stay.
- Invest in your business
The post-COVID-19 world won't be the same, so you must seize new opportunities to stay ahead. Reinvest your profits in updates to infrastructure, production, delivery, operations, staff, innovation and packaging. That way, you can survive any future situations.
It is important that we learn, evaluate and adapt or change the way we are doing things in order to ensure the survival of our business in the time to come.
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