Eatery and beverage shops learned from experiences from the April lockdown and have prepared for the new difficult period.
Hoang Tien, co-founder and CEO of Coffee Bike, said the social distancing days in April “gave me precious lessons. But I really don’t want to learn the lessons again”.
Owners of restaurants, eatery shops and coffee houses have expressed pessimism about business performance in the remaining months of the year as new Covid-19 cases have been discovered recently.
“We have to begin a new battle for survival,” Tien said. “The people who survived the outbreak earlier this year had just resumed normal operation for two months when the new cases were reported.”
According to Tien, revenue of eat-in shops has decreased by 15-20 percent, while sales from take-away sales have increased rapidly. And the number of franchised shops has also increased.
“I think people have tightened their purse strings and become hesitant to go to crowded locations,” he explained.
A representative of 89’s Presso, a beverage and snack shop in district 1, HCM City, said the chain had resumed 50 percent of its operation and now has to prepare for another lockdown.
Hoang Tung, CEO of Pizza Home, said the food and beverage sector may face another crisis. However, he still can see two positive things.
First, the purchasing power is still good, and government agencies have been doing well in fighting against the pandemic. When the last social distancing campaign finished, the economy recovered fairly quickly.
Second, a crisis creates ‘purging’, i.e. weak businesses are eliminated. The businesses that survive the crisis are strong. As they have successfully coped with difficulties, they will be able to do this the next time.
The Prime Minister has not announced a new social distancing campaign, but food and beverage shops are preparing for it.
Tung said he has applied the ‘three-step cut-reduction-increase principle’, i.e. cutting ineffective sale points, reducing production costs and retail premises rent, and increasing sales via apps.
“We have experience doing business in lockdown conditions. Everything has been prepared and the business model has been optimized,” he said, adding that he has prepared materials to ensure stable prices.
Nam Khuat from Kin Đee – Thai Gastropub said if social distancing is once again applied, he will renegotiate with landlords to cut the rent, reduce working hours of full-time workers, and switch to take-away with new menus.
This article was originally published in VNS