Saturday, July 13

What Happens Now To F&B Businesses?

On the latest news, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin just announced the extension of the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) for Malaysia. The extension is up until the 14th of April, and hopefully with the increasing rate of compliance among the people, the curve will flatten in no time. However, with the RMO extension, that brings to light concerns for certain essential businesses such as the F&B sector.

Usually, the three basic things that a restaurant needs are uniqueness, good location and a good business plan. With the pandemic and the partial lockdown going on in Malaysia, local eateries especially will find it troublesome to maintain their businesses. They could decide to sack employees to save on employment costs, but that might affect the quality of their products and services in the future. How will these businesses stay afloat during these times? These are some of the suggestions that have been found.

1. Temporary sales

For local eateries in Malaysia at the moment, dining in is not an option. Take-aways and delivery are allowed during this partial lockdown, and even then, not all places have enough staff capacity to deliver to houses. They could opt for increasing their social media presence and set up accounts on Facebook or Instagram, which will allow them better visibility with the immediate community. If not, these local restaurants could partner up with delivery services like GrabFood, Foodpanda, and DeliverEat. Fast food places are mostly at least partnered up with one delivery
service, but as for the mamak places or the local family restaurants, perhaps it is time for them to join the delivery partnership team. At least sales will still be coming in, and they could cushion the impact on the business from the partial lockdown in the country.

2. Building their brand

Sometimes, the only way to solidify the brand of their F&B businesses is by reaching out to the customers. What other way can these business owners convince loyal customers, especially the ones who subscribe to their social media accounts or emails, by being completely honest about the current situation? These F&B businesses could send emails, direct messages, or even social media posts to their customers, and assure them that their services will still be maintained. Take this opportunity to connect with loyal customers, and this will be promising for the future of their business. If these business owners want to do more, they could assist by providing food for the frontliners manning the pandemic day by day. Not only will this flatten the curve, this also makes their brand seem more wholesome and focused on the community.

3. Staying relevant in the area

Trouble will come for these eateries when it comes to paying the rent. With the partial lockdown extended up to the 14th of April and the slow business, local eateries will find it difficult to provide for their monthly rent. At times like these, business owners must take the initiative and contact their landlords to handle this issue. If the landlords allow to reduce the rental fees, then it would be fine. If they don’t, then business owners must negotiate until both sides reach an agreement that works for them. If the worst comes to the worst, business owners should reach out to
governmental agencies that specialize in F&B business to seek help. A good location is a must for restaurants to operate successfully after all, and these steps are necessary for those who don’t wish to lose those locations.

Although restaurants could wait for initiatives from the government, it is wise to have their own game plan during this pandemic. Utilize whatever financial reliefs that are available, and combine it with business strategies that work for their own restaurants. The world is slowly spiraling to a survival mode, and small businesses must also do
whatever they can to do the same.

Pic credits: Vulcan Post

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