Post covid thoughts and predictions for hospitality industry?

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With this summer looking almost normal, my thoughts are going back to what post covid hospitality might look like in 6-9 mths from now, and Im curious as to everyone elses thoughts on this.

Firstly, who has money to rebuild?

The owners of the failed businesses dont, failed leases and failed bank loans will haunt them for quite some time to come. Banks certainly do, they survived covid quite nicely---thank you very much, but-tum, uhh, they sure didn't like loaning money to restaurants pre-covid, and I seriously doubt they would now. Of course if they (banks) could get some kind of a Gov't guarantee that something like covid would never happen again, or if they could get some kind of a gov't sweetheart fail-safe loan to back them up then maybe, yes, they would loan money.
Meh, maybe I'm just being a pessimistic s.o.b., or maybe just a realistic one. Thoughts?

Now, breweries didn't have a hard time these last two years, they got money, and in the past many smaller craft breweries and even some larger ones it wasn't un-common for them to own one or two restaurants. In Switzerland in the '90's it was pretty common for brewereies to own dozens of restaurants and lease them out. A beer truck is refrigerated, and can certainly carry produce, meats, and frozen goods, but since brewereies are joined at the hip with soft drink bottling plants (co2 is a by product of beer...) those leases stipulate that the restaurant must carry these types of beer, those types of soft drinks, these types of frozen goods, those types of refrigerated goods. I dunno, something like that could happen here, or it could not. Thoughts?

Then there's the franchises and chains who make money by either selling hyper-inflated brand name ingredients, or by leasing out property to the franchisees, or both. Yes, some of them are feeling covid pretty bad, but they also own alot of real estate. Will they dump these properties on the market and re-invest in something else? Will they refinance thier franchisees? Or will they lease their properties out to the highest bidder and fahgettabout the franchisee? Thoughts?
 
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Lots of good points there man. But since we are both pessimistic fucks let me add my 2 cents to the pot.

Winter is coming, no joke. People are panicking over the Japan Olympics being a super spreader event on my side of the pond. Things are fucked in Latin/south America and I would be surprised if things went over smoothly during winter up north. So I would say that we are not completely out of the woods yet. Wait out the winter and see.

Worst bit is that there's a market crash coming and most big money entities are putting money on hard assets(real state, houses, gold, etc to have assets after the reset). Hope that that is not the case but a stupid amount of inflation would be the best case scenario I think. So honestly best advise I could give is get as many nuts as you can and try to survive winter. Cause its gonna be a terrible one.

On the restaurant side of things I would think that to survive during this times meal delivery and ghost kitchens will be a big deal. Hopefully you guys get better delivery systems in the states, but they work like magic over here.
Most places won't necessarily make money with the delivery if they do it on the side, but it will help the bottom line and with product turnover. Deals, discounts and stuff like that after hours is a very real and very underused marketing channel.
 
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It will be interesting! It does seem that carry out and delivery will continue to be a large part of sales. After being cooped up for a year, people want to go out, to see and be seen. Those restaurants that survived the pandemic will probably see a boom year or two.
 

phatch

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I don't think all of the US is post-covid. I suspect we'll see some surges still to come. Utah numbers and positivity have been doing a slow climb for a month. About 25% of cases is delta variant and vaccination has stalled hard.
 
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Yeah, we're not done with it. As much as 30% of the population refuse to get vaxxed; that will prolong things quite a bit. The current research indicates that the current vaccines are effective against the known mutations including Delta, and it's a near-certainty that boosters will roll out by the end of the year.

Economically it could be a mixed bag as well. Moratoriums on evictions and suspension of student loans are both expiring soon which could trigger a tsunami of evictions and bankruptcies.
 
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Well yeah, but "up north" we're at 75% for first shots and 25% for second shots nationally, with some provinces having higher vaccination rates. Strangely, paul-ticians from both US and Canada are screaming for the border to open up again.

What I'm more concerned about is how the hospitality industry will look like in a year from now. Covid or not, life goes on, and with every disaster there's people with foresight and money to change things that were once taken for granted. Will these changes benefit the hospitality industry? Or will these changes worsen the Hospitality industry?
 
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Well yeah, but "up north" we're at 75% for first shots and 25% for second shots nationally, with some provinces having higher vaccination rates. Strangely, paul-ticians from both US and Canada are screaming for the border to open up again.

What I'm more concerned about is how the hospitality industry will look like in a year from now. Covid or not, life goes on, and with every disaster there's people with foresight and money to change things that were once taken for granted. Will these changes benefit the hospitality industry? Or will these changes worsen the Hospitality industry?
Overall: Worsen the industry
Short term: Benefit for restaurants currently still able to operate.

The short term I believe is the gain from the culling of restaurants that did not make it through the pandemic for various reasons. This should naturally equate to increased sales to places that are still open and increase profits for them.

The long term negative factors include the current rising inflation on goods and services for restaurants, the increased costs of labor even though there will be a massive pool of extra labor from the remnants of places that went under.

I think the industry will bounce back but I don't think it will be as fast as a year from now.
 
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I think the labor crunch will tighten, not improve. The pandemic created a whole new class of WFH jobs that didn't exist before, and many of those jobs will stick around as they both improve employee retention and save employers money. Entry level restaurant workers were already tempted by "easy" jobs in call centers. Now that many of those jobs can be done from home I think people will flee the kitchen in droves.

On the bright side, those stupid/passionate enough to stay might see better wages and working conditions. Who knows, maybe we'll see that conversion of hospitality work into a professional class as foodpump foodpump always advocates for.
 
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Looking through craigslist, Indeed, and other websites that cater to the hospitality industry I am seeing changes. Firstly, there are ALOT of employers looking for staff, some of these are hotels and large restaurant chains/groups, one group of restaurants claims to spend enormous amounts of money on head hunters. Gone are those "perks" of " discounted staff meals" and " relaxed dress code" and instead are real benefits of medical and dental coverage after 3 mths-- something unheard of in the Cnd hospitality industry 2 years ago. Tip sharing for all staff is becoming a lot more prevalent too.

Lets see what this fall brings.... most of the colleges and universities here are clinging on to " online learning" because its, well... cheap and easy!
 
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Online learning can be awesome. When I finished up work for my degrees I did a mix of classroom and online work; often I learned more online. Obviously some stuff requires hands-on training but stuff that's just information is often better done virtually.

Health insurance- that would be a real revolution!
 
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I see a mixed bag with regards to our industry.
I see culinary school graduates looking for work, but the places they apply needs experienced help, while those that are experienced and laid off due to Covid, don't want to go back for the measly wages and hard work.
I theorize that the young see food service as too hard.
I see it everyday at the grocery store. The young wear their attitude with a vengeance. They don't want to be there and you can see it in their work ethic.
Unless our industry re-invents itself for the 21st century, we are going to see more places close, more take-out and more delivery.
 
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I agree, the Restaurant Business has changed for ever. Only the strong will survive. I see fast food being just that. Companies will design them with multi lane drive-thru windows. This isn't that big of a deal, the inside table in a fast food restaurant was really just like what a picnic bench is to a park.
Casual dining will have to change the FOH using less labor and using runners to deliver your food to the table. We will be ordering from a table computer and also paying for the meal the Same way. You'll see more pick-up parking spaces for fast service. You may also see a drive up windows for pick-up. I don't think you'll see anyone blasting out of the Outback Steak House side door on roller-skates telling you " Here's your Medium Rare steak that Outback serves Rare.
Fine dining will stay the same. We all grew up with celebrating special occasions and that will never change. The fine dining experience became more than a few times a year even. We enjoy being pampered and that will never change either.

Food trucks will be all over the place with pods popping up everywhere. They will be well organized and a fun place to have in the city. They will be well lite with bathrooms and covered seating. I feel we are going through a new era of just wanting good food without the frills.

As we all drive around our city, we will see many more out of Business and For Sale signs.

I feel the Virus will become more like a real bad case of the flu. The Virus will be part of our lives for many years to come. Along with the yearly Flu shot we will also have to get our Yearly Covid booster shot. There will be out breaks with many people still not getting vaccinated.

There will be more people moving to the suburbs and even off the grid. People now realize it's up to them to keep their families safe. You can't control what happens around you if you don't have full control.

Working from home is here to stay. Employers won't really want it, employees will demand it.

Welcome to the new reality.......
 
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The pandemic created a whole new class of WFH jobs that didn't exist before, and many of those jobs will stick around as they both improve employee retention and save employers money

I agree to this but I suspect it will not result in increased WFH jobs for Americans as companies will realize if they are paying people to work from home and not come to a physical office why not just outsource it to a cheaper labor market anyways.

There will be more people moving to the suburbs and even off the grid.

Yes the housing market here is inflating something fierce. All the people who are able to WFH from the city are realizing they can get a lot more bang for their buck by coming further north.
 
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I agree to this but I suspect it will not result in increased WFH jobs for Americans as companies will realize if they are paying people to work from home and not come to a physical office why not just outsource it to a cheaper labor market anyways.
I think they already have done this as much as they're able. But some companies experienced a huge backlash and had to reverse course to a degree. Consumers don't see source code to it doesn't matter to them where a programmer is. But there can be a lot of anger if they're forced to deal with a CS rep they can't understand. HSBC had this problem when they moved some call centers to India (and Manila IIRC).

Outsourcing an entire office generally only makes sense if it's a pretty large one. It does depend in the industry. My brother and sister have both done WFH for a long time. Sis does Medicaid billing which has a lot of regulatory compliance components that would be tough to offshore.
 
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Hmm.... I guess it depends on the different cases. Where I am and specifically my new job they are much more busy than pre covid oddly enough so everyone's getting money. It is the lack of employees that is hurting everyone where I am at the moment. Mostly everyone opened up to go orders or curb side. A lot of people started using that option too. But as for the future I think it is either gonna open up to jobs realizing that people wont return to work without the hospitality industry offering more to make it worth peoples time. Or majority of all food businesses will shut down for whichever reasons. I think its a 50/50 chance of both.
 
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But as for the future I think it is either gonna open up to jobs realizing that people wont return to work without the hospitality industry offering more to make it worth peoples time

I agree but sometimes it's like trying to get blood from a stone. If you are a private restaurant with the normal profit margins you can't afford to increase wages to combat inflation and mandated minimum wages and add benefits like 401Ks, insurance and the like on top of that. At a certain point it won't be worth staying open.
 
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Joined Nov 27, 2012
Well yeah, but "up north" we're at 75% for first shots and 25% for second shots nationally, with some provinces having higher vaccination rates. Strangely, paul-ticians from both US and Canada are screaming for the border to open up again.

What I'm more concerned about is how the hospitality industry will look like in a year from now. Covid or not, life goes on, and with every disaster there's people with foresight and money to change things that were once taken for granted. Will these changes benefit the hospitality industry? Or will these changes worsen the Hospitality industry?

Well I see the problem being more the countries around you(or that you would be opening the borders too) that are not vaccinated being the problem here more than the inside situation.

But the interesting part would be the restaurants wouldn't it?

I'll throw my hat to the pool saying the the waning workforce and issues staffing a restaurant are going to push for slimmer and more specialized menus. More efficiency and less BS would be an ideal take from all this mess. An ideal scenario to me and it probably won't happen but one can dream.
 
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I agree but sometimes it's like trying to get blood from a stone. If you are a private restaurant with the normal profit margins you can't afford to increase wages to combat inflation and mandated minimum wages and add benefits like 401Ks, insurance and the like on top of that. At a certain point it won't be worth staying open.
Absolutely right. Which case itll be the other 50%, everyone shuts down. It is such an unfortunate circumstance
 
5,536
974
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I agree but sometimes it's like trying to get blood from a stone. If you are a private restaurant with the normal profit margins you can't afford to increase wages to combat inflation and mandated minimum wages and add benefits like 401Ks, insurance and the like on top of that. At a certain point it won't be worth staying open.
What I learned with my catering and my chocolate business was this:
If Johnny across the street is selling apples, I'm gonna sell oranges.
Make something unique so that others can't beat or match you on the price. You'll never last a year if you're constantly looking over your shoulder and crapping your pants because the other guy down the street is 95 cents cheaper than you.

British Columbia just raised minimum wage to 15..00/ hr. It took me over 30 years to learn that inflation is just part of life. If there was no inflation there would be stagnation, which is much, much worse.
 
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Joined Jan 27, 2002
I see a mixed bag with regards to our industry.
I see culinary school graduates looking for work, but the places they apply needs experienced help, while those that are experienced and laid off due to Covid, don't want to go back for the measly wages and hard work.
I theorize that the young see food service as too hard.
I see it everyday at the grocery store. The young wear their attitude with a vengeance. They don't want to be there and you can see it in their work ethic.
Unless our industry re-invents itself for the 21st century, we are going to see more places close, more take-out and more delivery.
 

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