Tag Archive: consultancy

  1. Reimagining The Hospitality Industry Post Covid

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    Here we are once again, although it is not quite the same as Lockdown 1.0. In March we were all in it together, it was a complete unknown and there was a collective experience that we shared, and we supported each other through.

    Lockdown 2.0 is not this. Too many businesses and individuals have been treated differently depending on where they live and what support they have been able to access. There is a sense of unfairness, jealously and fatigue. It has been 9 months of living with uncertainty and that is a lot for us all to deal with. I feel this right now.

    As a consultant who should have the answers to help businesses grow and succeed, the need to project confidence when I have felt anything but at certain times has been challenging.

    Social media can be uplifting, but it can also be damaging. The pressure on us to ‘perform’ and show that we are still happy and successful is wearing thin and I believe it is actually damaging to our mental health. It reminds me of how we collectively used to ignore problems instead of talking about them. This is hard right now and we should be free to talk openly about our current situation and share the good and the bad.

    With this in mind, I have put together three key areas that I would like you to think about and put into practice.

    Regroup, Recharge and Rebound.

    I hope these will allow you space and time to acknowledge that 2020 was not what any of us planned and to allow you to plan and reshape your business and our wider industry for a better 2021 and beyond.


    As we start week two of this lockdown, whatever your current situation is, give yourself time to work out what is the best financial option for your business. If it makes sense to close and furlough all your staff, do it. If you can open on certain days and not others, then do this. If you need time to work out what you need to do, then give yourself that time and access the flexible furlough scheme that is on offer right now to be able to have that time to plan.

    Hopefully, we will be back open in early December, but we still have no idea what we will be returning to after Lockdown. This is normally the busiest time of year for so many businesses, but it is hard to see how that will be so this year. This is temporary. It sucks, but it will improve. If you can see a path forward to be open in December, then spend these next few weeks wisely.

    What will your offer look like? What new products or seasonal offers can you put in motion today for your reopen? What training do you or your staff need moving forward? What new suppliers can you reach out to for future relationships? Does Brexit affect any area of your business? If so, what do you need to do to get ready for this?


    If you can plan for now and the future, hopefully these actions will allow you to relax a little more, knowing that you are taking control of what you can.

    With the long dark days, it is harder to stay upbeat, so taking care of yourself during these next few months is more important than ever. Think of key actions and commitments you can make to yourself that do not revolve around your business, but instead focus on self-care. Things like a daily walk, light and restorative exercise you can do in your home, such as yoga, stretching or mobility. Join the mediation club, just 10 minutes a day or every other day really does help calm your mind.

    I have found speaking to like-minded industry people has been so helpful during these difficult few months. Speaking and hearing from other business owners or those working in the same industry has both given me hope, but also acknowledgment that we are all in this together. Sharing your struggles and successes can be so helpful not only for yourself but for others too. It makes problem solving easier and you never know where a conversation will take you. (Insert BT moto here 😊)


    This is hopefully the fun bit. When we no longer have to talk about Covid and we live in a future where we can be near people again.

    What do you want your business to look like? What are the areas you want to improve? What lessons can we take from this traumatic experience that will enhance our working life and those that work with us?

    It is my hope that we look to the future with a newfound respect for life and that we work towards rebalancing our lives and businesses so we can positively impact our communities.

    The Hospitality industry is going to look very different in 2021. There has been a shift of mindset in the consumer and businesses will need deliver to these new desires.

    Community, local, collaborative, comfort and quality are a few key phrases that come to mind. What do you offer that will make you stand out from your competition? What can you bring in that will not only add value to your customers, but will also increase sales?

    I am sure the future of the 9-5 office job is going to look very different, with a hybrid, flexible approach to working, which is exciting. It will allow people to live and work in their communities, which in turn will bring greater and new opportunities to future entrepreneurs.

    The future is uncertain, but taking charge of key areas will help give you focus and allow you to chart a way forward.

    Take care.

  2. A mobile coffee business. Should you start one?

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    This year has not quite planned out how we expected, right? But all is not lost. If your plans to open a coffee shop were rudely haulted due to this pandemic, have you considered the simpler option of starting a mobile coffee business instead?

    As we move into the last quarter of this year, it’s hard to imagine what else 2020 will throw at us, but one thing we know for sure, Brexit is coming and it’s a whole big dollop of more unknown.

    With so much uncertainty, it’s hard to know what the right response is, but what I do know, you need to be fighting against the tide to ensure your hopes and dreams are not washed away.

    calming waves on ths sea at dusk
    Don’t let your plans get washed away

    That is not to say you should plough ahead with the same plans you had at the beginning of the year. A lot has changed, and it is absolutely prudent to take stock and adapt to our new world.

    With the furlough scheme ending in October and the cuts to VAT finishing early next year, and the constant threat of a potential second wave, only then will we know the true cost of this pandemic on our hospitality industry. That doesn’t mean there are not good opportunities out there for the tenacious, the brave and the financially astute.

    So, what plans did you have for 2020? With the UK’s booming and still growing coffee scene, you may have been thinking to get a slice of the pie. Whether that was starting your first coffee shop or looking down the micro-roastery route, both these options, if done well, are great businesses to have.

    Although things look very different today, people’s love of coffee has shone through. When lockdown was lifted on July 4th, the most popular places to visit after seeing family and friends, were coffee shops.

    So, if that dream is still alive, one area that I believe is worth a lot of consideration is a mobile coffee business. In fact, there are countless of now established cafes and coffee roasteries that started their journey this way.

    mobile coffee caravan with white la marzocco espresso machine bread basket and coffee flask.
    A beautiful example of a mobile coffee set-up

    Obviously, we have the unreliable British weather to contend with, but weather aside, in this Covid World, I believe businesses should be adapting to prioritise outdoor service.

    You only have to look to the countryside pubs with their beautiful beer gardens doing so well this summer, to understand that we all feel safer being outside right now. So why not propose the perfect solution to these consumer buying habits and start a pop up or mobile coffee business?

    There are a lot of positives to consider. The much lower overheads, both at start-up level and on-going. Fewer staff needed and greater flexibility in your location – in fact, not being tied to a physical space longer-term allows you to experiment with your audience and your offer, adapting both to maximise your turnover.

    In a recent survey carried out by The Allegra Group, 34% of people contacted said they still felt unsafe visiting a coffee shop and 93% said social distancing was their preferred method of mitigating the risk of catching coronavirus.

    It is no surprise. For 5 months we were told it was not safe to go out. It takes 3 months to learn a new habit, so we have had more than enough practice to learn that going out and socialising as we once did, is still not safe. That is going to take quite some time to undo, especially without the safety-net of a vaccine.

    two people with hands holding coffee cups in a cafe
    Coffee and community

    Bring the people what they want.

    You will no doubt have seen the rise in community focus. People are interested in where they live again. Local councils and organisations are pushing for more pedestrianised areas to encourage consumers to come back to restaurants, pubs and cafes, but sitting outside.

    I have no doubt that outdoor markets will be back better than before – with a focus on local, independent stalls. Food and drink were a huge source of stress relief and happiness during lockdown. More and more people are understanding what great coffee is and where to buy it online, but they still miss buying a beautifully crafted coffee, made by a talented and friendly barista. We are social creatures after all – we still crave conversation and community.

    With mobile coffee set-ups there are a number of things that you will have to take into consideration that you wouldn’t normally have to – power and water solutions being the main ones.

    Your coffee bar set-up is another – will you be serving out the back or from inside? Not forgetting the weather again, I mean its Britain. It is going to rain and it will be cold in the winter, but where’s your sense of adventure? If you have not experienced the challenge of dosing ground coffee in the wind, you haven’t lived.  

    coffee grinder and portafilter with fresh ground coffee in basket
    Ground coffee perfection

    There are of course still risks involved in any new venture, but why not test the water with a lower risk venture such as a mobile unit? With endless options for your vehicle and set-up, you can truly customize your business to suit your budget.

    Is mobile for you?

    If you focus on the coffee and the service, you will be setting up for success. Just because it is a mobile coffee shop does not mean you cut back on those crucial elements. Treat this mobile coffee business as seriously as you would a highstreet café.

    If you’re just Starting Out, The Coffee Consultancy can help you. We would love to hear about your plans and how we can make them a reality.

    Contact Louise today.