How to build long-term profitability (with digitization)
There are 4 keys that are basic for the recovery of your business after the pandemic.
Figures from Canirac estimate that the restaurant sector will take seven years to recover, I am more optimistic, since this projection is based on a traditional approach that will return as we remember it. Especially when there are other factors such as the democratization of technology with its own and self-managed digital platforms to build direct channels of customer service. This is where the opportunities and the ability to build long-term profitability lie.
Two years ago, very few restaurants considered having a direct digital channel for sale. Few additions around, perhaps some scheme that invited people to pick up their order or some type of home delivery that was more emergent than a true service line.
- To learn more: Lessons Learned from Ray Kroc, Milton Hershey, and Other Founders of Large Food Companies
Now, direct channels have shown that they can be the main point of contact and profitability of the business, because it gives greater control over the process; from the fixed and variable costs of the restaurant itself, to having information that translates into trends and detection of opportunities.
In our experience of operating in four countries (Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia), we observe trends that seem valuable to us in order to advance in this sector recovery:
- The key is in the experience and in the connection: It is essential that the sector considers that there are a series of elements that have a value in themselves, such as customer loyalty and the loyalty of current and potential diners. This relationship stems from the data that we can obtain through interaction with digital platforms, especially when we have control and visibility of our own data.
- Find your unique stamp: The main starting point for any business is to establish a vision for the future. Giving control to a third party entails specific costs such as commission payments and also decisions that can play against our own business objectives, such as strengthening strategic elements to differentiate ourselves from the competition, approaching customers or establishing schedules of promotions.
The main starting point for any business is to establish a vision of the future / Image: Depositphotos.com
- Building community: If we have been taught anything in recent months, it is the importance of recognizing that we cannot continue to operate as we did years ago in this industry. There is increasing interest in having a production chain that is truly more empathetic and fair. That each establishment has a tailored platform and has technological partners that provide the necessary support to provide better tools for the benefit of both the restaurant and its collaborators, distributors and the end customer, are some of the essential actions to run the business that we long for so much.
The main invitation is to consider where the profitability will come from in the long term, since it will be increasingly difficult if we do not adopt new capabilities and tools that are already in our present. The first step is to explore them, then adopt them so that we can use them to our advantage to really shape that future we want.