Five Ways To Push Your Hospitality Or Events Business Ahead (Even In Our Current Circumstances) A couple of tips on how to keep your restaurant or events business afloat in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

By Rabih Mokbel

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It's over. Life as we know it is over.

As a lot of people ask, "Will life ever go back to normal after the coronavirus?", one thing for sure is: it most certainly won't. Gone are the days when people would go out partying every weekend and wait in line to dine at their favorite restaurants.

This, however, does not mean that those of us who work in the hospitality industry are absolutely bound to take a hit. If managed correctly, clubs and restaurants can run more effectively and efficiently than ever before. Here are some of my tips on how to keep your restaurant or events business afloat in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Adapt to the current situation, and set a contingency plan in place. While most people are thinking of how to survive during the outbreak, at my company, we are putting a strategy in place for how to operate afterward. Ensuring your services will be relevant post-outbreak is the best thing you can do to remain ahead of the game. For example, we're currently exploring cashless payment methods, stricter door policies that ensure social distancing and avoid over-packing at our ventures, enhanced delivery methods to recreate the restaurant experience at home, enhanced sanitary measures and safety protocols, and much more. Think beyond the current state of the world.

2. Don't be afraid to branch out into a complementary business. Long before the coronavirus, people were always worried where the ice in their drinks came from. Now, after everyone is being extra cautious about what they're touching, eating, or drinking, we started creating our own ice. Manufactured in our highly-sterilized factory using filtered water, we can now control the water we use in our establishments. The lesson from this is: always think about being customer-centric. What small change can you do to satisfy your customers, while cutting down on some costs?

Related: Three Payment Plans To Increase Cash Inflow For Your Business

3. Embrace technology. Move your business online, or even host your events using virtual reality technology. One thing we're currently doing at my company, Venture Lifestyle, is launching our own live streaming platform. Through this platform, we aim to create a unique user experience where streamers would get to listen to exclusive tracks from local and international DJs, while building a loyal following that is always updated with all our latest news. By creating a tight-knit network of artists and streamers, your business venture would be more than just a Friday-night hangout. While VR will never replace going to an actual event, it can still be used to mimic a unique user experience that would resonate with your customers.

4. Use your time efficiently. Make use of this "break" to research global trends, learn new techniques, train your staff, remodel, sterilize your facilities, or even take some time to identify gaps in the market. While other businesses may be panicking, this quarantine could serve as a golden opportunity for business owners to rethink and modify their business strategies.

5. Safety first. Whether it's the safety of your employees or customers, one thing is for sure: when you put your people's safety as a top priority, you create trust, and that can never be broken, virus or not.

The world is currently in uncharted waters. We've never seen anything like this before, and all signs point to the likelihood that restaurants and events, as we know them, aren't coming back for a while. That's why, in order to move forward, we must introduce new rules to the game. We need to reevaluate how we've been doing business all along, give space to the things that nourish us and our communities, and let go of the bad habits that we've accumulated over the years. The real danger here is not extinction- it's going back to the way things were.

Related: How Your Business Can Survive The COVID-19 Crisis (And Then Thrive After It)

Wavy Line
Rabih Mokbel

Chairman, Venture Lifestyle

Rabih Mokbel is an event entrepreneur based in the Middle East. He is currently the Chairman of Venture Lifestyle, one of the top event management and concept creation companies in Egypt.

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