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How can the restaurateurs revive from the Covid-19 epidemic

In the face of the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the catering industry, in order to help restaurateurs solve the problems and boost their confidence, a reporter from People's Daily specially interviewed Yang Liu, President of the World Federation of Chinese catering industry, on how the restaurateurs  can get out of the covid-19 epidemic predicament.
restaurant catering industry
Q: If the coronavirus epidemic continues for a long time, what does that mean for the catering industry?
A: It has been affected by the coronavirus epidemic, and the restaurant's revenue has seriously fallen off. As the epidemic continues, the whole catering industry has gone to a period of cold winter. For many merchants, it is not too much to say that they are facing a survival crisis. However, in the process of deal with the epidemic situation, many merchants take the initiative to practice their social responsibility, actively help themselves, cooperate extensively, and change their business philosophy and methods, which has laid the foundation for the recovery and prosperity of the industry in the future.
Compared with the small and medium-sized merchants, the larger merchants have a certain ability to resist risks. During the coronavirus epidemic period, they actively help themselves, develop restaurant retail, food delivery service and other businesses, and strive for financial support from banks and equity investment. They can still persist in the short term. However, we should also see that some larger merchants’ issues, especially brand chain restaurant, account for more fixed costs such as rent and labor costs. Now the government policy covers a wide range of closures, and it is difficult to predict the resumption time. Once the capital chain breaks, it will face greater difficulties.

Q: As the World Federation of Chinese food industry, what guidance and assistance have you provided to merchants in the face of difficulties? What is the effect of these assistances?

A: As an international social organization of Chinese food industry, the World Federation of Chinese food industry has been paying attention to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the industry, actively provide industrial and professional platforms, and help the recovery and development of the catering industry

First, we report development suggestions to relevant national ministries and commissions to strive for the support of government policies and a good business environment for merchants; Second, we strengthen social investigation and research to understand the real business situation of catering and help merchants tide over difficulties; Third, we invite experts to analyze the impact of the covid-19 epidemic situation and guide merchants to accurately understand the development status and make scientific business decisions; The fourth is to actively do a good job in consulting services for merchants; The fifth is that we are studying and adjusting the 2021 work plan, focusing on helping the catering industry and merchants to resume production and boost confidence.
Through our active efforts, we can make member merchants and catering industry feel warm as family, and feel our high attention and strong support from the government and catering industry, so as to guide them to stabilize their positions, make rational judgments, make correct decisions, and strive for survival and development.

Q: How do you think merchants should help themselves to solve current situation?
A: First of all, merchants should stabilize their positions and objectively analyze the impact of the covid-19 epidemic. The second is to make a good job in positioning, check their own business form, capital, industrial chain and so on, to see how to resume operation and smoothly tide over the difficulties. The third is to learn to be willing. When seeking to survive, they should narrow the business norms, reduce the number of restaurants, develop new business channels, and adjust the management modes. They should have a clear idea and be prepared to maintain it for a period of time. Fourth, they should adhere to self-reliance, expand food delivery service, retail and other businesses, and actively seek new cooperation opportunities.

Q: After the Covid-19 epidemic, consumers may have more stringent requirements on the dining environment, the source of food materials and the health status, which will also contribute to the healthy development of the catering industry. Is the catering industry ready for this? What measures will be taken to ensure the upgrade of hardware / software?
A: The catering industry has developed to a new stage, that is from meeting people's basic dietary needs for a better life, from reaching the level of food safety to achieving the state of nutrition and health. The government, market and consumers will pay more attention to the dining environment, the source of food materials, food safety, nutrition and health, and many merchants will adapt to the needs of development and adapt as soon as possible. We will actively guide and mobilize extensively to promote the innovation, development and transformation of the catering industry. We will vigorously promote the concept of nutrition and health, promote the inheritance and innovation of culinary.
Q: The impact of the Covid-19 epidemic to various industries is obvious, especially the catering industry. Do you think the catering industry will face a round of reshuffle after the end of the epidemic?
A: The catering industry has the most competitive industry, and its failure rate is relatively high. After the epidemic, the catering industry will be reshuffled. Some merchants with good foundation will be able to tide over the difficulties and maintain their advantages in the market. Some merchants with some difficulties will adjust their development ideas and seize the new development opportunities through new ways of financing and cooperative operation; Some merchants of chain restaurants will seek survival and change by reducing the number of restaurants, reducing the scale of operation and other ways; Those merchants with insufficient strength and difficult operation will be eliminated by the market, of course, some new capital and new merchants will continue to invest in the catering field.

Q: Personnel training and frequent flow of employees have always been problems faced by merchants. Will this problem intensify or change in the future?
A: This has always been a big problem in the catering industry, which is fast in and out, but on the whole, it is in a relatively balanced. During and after the epidemic, the flow of skilled workers in the catering industry may intensify, but after the industry recovers for a period of time, this relative balance will continue to appear. During the Covid-19 epidemic period, the "shared employees" explored by merchants also provided new ideas and solutions for catering industry to solve the employment problem.
Q: A few months ago, a number of merchants tried to "share employees" mode to relieve the pressure of merchants. What do you think of this method? Will it become a direction for the development of merchants in the future?
A: "Sharing employees" is an effective way to solve the current employment difficulties and reduce labor costs. It really alleviates the pressure of merchants to a certain extent. This kind of innovation is a beneficial attempt. After the end of the epidemic, this mode of employment will still exist. However, it is necessary to properly deal with a series of problems, such as working hours, working tasks, personnel management, labor disputes, etc., which will lead to new thoughts and new changes in enterprise’s human resource management.
Q: In recent months, we have seen that catering orders for online delivery are much more than usual. Do you expect our catering industry to increase its online order food delivery business in the future?
A: During the Covid-19 epidemic period, we try not to go out and reduce the risk of infected coronavirus. The advantages of "contactless delivery" and "intelligent food cabinet" have been brought into play. Some merchants have increased their business, and some merchants have adopted new technologies such as unmanned distribution. Online order food delivery has become a "unique show". It can be predicted that in the future, the catering industry will speed up the development of online order food delivery business.
Q: What do you want to say to merchants at this moment?
A: At present, the catering industry has encountered serious difficulties. We all feel very sad. But this is not insurmountable.
We should have confidence to manage the epidemic prevention and overcome temporary difficulties. Second, the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic has sounded an alarm for the catering industry. After the epidemic, consumers will have higher requirements for food safety and healthy food. Merchants should have the courage to assume social responsibility, make rational judgments and correct decisions, and timely adjust their concepts and business ideas. Third, during the period of business close, merchants should spend time to strengthen staff training, improve their internal skills and have a solid foundation to meet the recovery period of the catering industry.
The novel coronavirus, the global financial crisis and avian flu all have brought serious influences to the catering industry. But looking back, it has also become an opportunity for the merchants to grow and grow, so is the coronavirus epidemic. We should seek a way to break the dangerous situation. We should take the opportunity to respond to the epidemic and firmly carry out the corporate social responsibility. We believe that after the epidemic, the catering industry will continue to develop quickly and deliver a more brilliant future!


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