In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” While none of us were prepared to deal with a global pandemic, those who recover stronger will be the ones who don’t let this crisis go to waste. Those who come out on top will be those who didn’t give up, embracing the situation and using forced downtime to evaluate what is working in their business and what isn’t.
Recently, the International Caterers Association hosted a webinar led by Jennifer Perna, principal at Fulton Market Consulting and Frank Christian, managing partner at Taylored Hospitality Solutions. The call allowed catering industry members to discuss what they learned during times of crisis in 2020 and how they’re applying it to set their business up for a wildly successful rebound in 2021.
Here are the top three things catering companies are doing to set up their company for rebound:
Crafting a positive team & company culture
A business is only as strong as its team. During the pandemic, teams were forced to make tough but necessary decisions when budgets were cut. Who stayed, and who had to go? It ultimately made most management teams realize that they were overstaffed and holding on to underperforming team members. It helped many start anew with positive attitudes and relentless energy that will have them ready to tackle the new challenges and opportunities ahead. They have true team players and a company culture that makes people want to stay and grow.
Embracing creative solutions & streamlining systems
Sometimes you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater to discover that there is in fact a better way of doing things, a more profitable way of selling, or a more creative solution for something you’ve been doing the same way for years. It’s not always a bad idea to look at processes and procedures, menus and teams—even if they seem to be working—to see if things can be done better or leaner. Leave the “we’ve always done it this way” attitude behind; that’s when you see real growth.
Taking time to work on your business, not just in it
Perna and Christian are leaders of a program named “Rebound with Frank & Jen.” What they shared with the group is that as they’re guiding individuals through their strategic advisory program to approach the challenges that this rebound will bring, they realized that so many owners and management team members have spent years working in their business, not on their business.
What’s the difference?
Usually, success or failure.
If management and ownership are bussing tables rather than designing a strategy for future growth, the company will never succeed. Perna and Christian shared, “It’s our goal as consultants to have teams take a look at what their business is now, what they want it to be in the future, and what they need to do to get there. Whether that is refining systems or operating procedures, building a team with the right people or assessing what they’re selling—a lot of management have never asked themselves these questions before.”
Asking yourself the tough questions and taking a top-down look at your organization is one of the most important things you can do as we move into this next chapter. Are you prepared for the rebound?
For more information or to join the ICA, visit [internationalcaterers.org](http://internationalcaterers.org/).