By Silvia de Diego, member of the Baud team.
It's Monday morning a man walks into Manuela's bar. Orders a coffee and a truncheon and spreads his newspaper on the table where he will spend the next 3 hours of his day.
The story behind that man can be anyone, rich or poor man, married or single, on the first day of his vacation or on the first break of the day. Impossible to guess, because on that side of a bar there can be anyone and endless stories.
Because bars, vermouth bars, wine houses, three stars, taverns, cafes, bars, gambling dens, garitazos, are part of our collective imagination.
Now the initiative of the platform Together for Hospitality, "I am Heritage 2020", asks to make them a World Heritage Site because if we refer to one of the meanings of the RAE for the word culture is: set of ways of life and customs, knowledge and degree of artistic, scientific, industrial development, at a time, social group, etc..
And nothing better than a bar for chatting, planning and socializing.
The Covid-19 has made a sector as authentic as this one, has had to deal with the acceptance of new ways of doing things and of trends that in other sectors were already a reality a long time ago.
Now that these "institutions" are facing possibly the greatest transformation in their history, it is time to value them and recognize what they bring us.
At Baud, as a partner of large restaurant brands (and not only because of its size), we have reflected on the immediate future of the sector to discover the most important factors of change in these times
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During a meeting organized by the Design Institute of Spain, Ferrán Adriá highlighted that 90% of restaurant businesses are not governed by budgets. A risky practice in contexts of volatility and uncertainty.
Thus, experts agree that a professionalized management it will be the future of the hospitality industry, starting with a business plan that ensures that the business survives beyond the 5 years on average that 50% of restaurants live now.
Planning that comes from the hand of a or services authentic. A concept that conveys a clear value proposition and a well-defined target and offer.
A concept that is capable of guiding the teams, from the chef to the suppliers. As Juli Capella stated, in the same Design Institute session: “it is time for authentic projects, with soul”.
This further streamlining also materializes in spaces, with a more orderly division of areas in the interior design, defined passageways, differentiated access and exit doors, spaces for take-away or delivery or entrances prepared to receive the diner and direct them to a specific table.
In short, a comprehensive professionalization that ranges from the most strategic actions to the most tactical, integrating and providing coherence. So that everything builds in a single direction.
It is time to think before doing.
Another of the unknowns that the future of the hospitality industry holds will be the appearance of new business models or the reformulation of previous ones in response to new forms of consumption.
In this case, the teleworking seems the most determining factor
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The change in schedules and routines predict for some a model close to the Anglo-Saxon, in which food becomes a quick snack in front of the computer and dinners are those that happen outside.
This change in customs will also drive the expansion of novel formats such as merchants, self-service ready-to-eat dishes.
Kantar Spain foresees, according to its statistical studies, that in the next 5 years this business model will grow by 400%.
In the same way, the search for open air it will affect the usual design of the premises. Thus, terraces, patios, or spaces capable of creating experiences that simulate those sensations, are the new gold.
It is, therefore, the moment to test the adaptability.
And in this context, brands are required strategically designed to support the business, flexible and adaptable, capable of providing a plus of resilience.
Creativity to achieve greater adaptability.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has led us to question hygiene and safety in the hospitality industry.
For example, the Basque pintxos displayed on the counter and within easy reach are a culinary attraction, a claim to tourism and gastronomic heritage that does not know what its future will be.
Because when it comes to fullfilment of security requirements food and cleaning, where before the latter was about hiding, is now an element to show.
This will affect the incorporation of materials aseptic and in accordance with stricter regulations and the need to integrate them into the space, along with other new gadgets, in the most organic way possible.
Again creativity puts us to the test.
La technology Applied to this new context, it has initially led us towards solutions that avoid contact as much as possible: menus through QR codes, screens or payment systems of all kinds to avoid cash.
From now on, we will see that projects increasingly incorporate "safe technologies" from the beginning: capacity control systems, taps or automatic doors, etc.
Generate that perception of security to finally achieve the Trust customer will be one of the most valued factors.
A confidence that also augurs the choice between the entire offer based on proximity criteria and greater loyalty to your usual restaurant or bar.
It is the time for safe brands and brands that are close, that empathize and transfer transparency and honesty to connect and achieve ...
Trust above all things.
Finally and as we move forward, the sudden (for some) digitising has come to stay.
In many cases due to the need to start a service delivery that expands the experience to the digital world forcing more than ever the creation of coherent, consistent and differential experiences at any of the brand's touch points.
Without a doubt, the pandemic may have been the flame that lights the fuse, but sooner or later, as has happened in other sectors, the digital world had to be embraced with solutions such as the incorporation of management systems, POS software, or even the foray into social networks and the web.
Others are standard bearers, such as McDonalds that advances in digitization with street signs in which to order by voice and the reading of a QR code.
In this sense, the brand provides some essential resources in the digitization process. Because if you're digital, you have to tell the world, and the world has to believe it.
A digital transformation in a hurry and without pause.
It remains to be seen if these changes produce a true revolution in the sector.
For the moment the real revolution, especially for small businesses, has been knowing their capacity to respond and adapt to changes.
And they do, well they do.
For our part, we will continue to create strong brands that can withstand one virus or all.
Brands that continue to build the future of the hospitality sector, so that it continues to be the hotbed of stories that we all want it to be.
Sources: Design Institute of Spain, Bartalent Lab, Gastroeconomy, Magazine Digital, Elmundo.es, Conde Nast Traveler, Fundéu BBVA, Expansión 2020.
Images by Adrien Olichon and Hiki Liu.