At the beginning of the new year of 2020, the new crown virus epidemic has made the catering industry, which was already in a chaotic period, worse. A report by the China Cooking Association shows that 78% of catering companies lost more than 100% of their operating income during the epidemic, which means that nearly 6 million catering outlets across the country have failed. In the face of real disasters, we are more fragile and overwhelmed than we think.
For diners, the real difficulties are just beginning. In the short term, survival is the greatest competitiveness, and there are many countermeasures in the epidemic. What do you do after you survive? Not only must we take the initiative to change, but after the epidemic, the industry will be forced to enter the improvement and upgrade channel. In the face of a more efficient, comprehensive and higher-quality industry development stage, what attitude will we take to meet the challenge?
Avoid blind self-help
During the epidemic, dinning was banned for a long time on a large scale, and it can be predicted that it will be difficult to recover to the pre-epidemic consumption level for a long time in the future. At this time, takeaway has become the only life-saving straw for the catering industry. We see that catering companies headed by Xibei took the lead in opening up takeaways in the epidemic, and the “Relief Card” has become the standard for takeaways. Companies have followed suit to take delivery, and business owners have continued to consult the author about takeaway issues. The responses I gave them were: Don’t save yourself blindly. One pit hasn’t crawled out yet, and fell into the next pit, and buried himself directly.
For takeaway, we have to divide it into two. At this critical moment, takeaway is naturally a life-saving straw. For companies with a takeaway foundation and food safety foundation, takeaway must be done, and products can be adjusted for special periods. After all, takeaway has a heavy responsibility for a long time. But for companies without a foundation, all of this must be done from scratch. Is our resistance to the epidemic weak? Isn’t it because our basic immunity is weak? The pain is still there. Is this going to be the same?
Cash flow for success, cash flow for failure
During the epidemic, for the first time, the catering industry caused everyone’s attention. In an interview with the media, Xibei Jia Guolong said that the epidemic caused more than 20,000 employees to be employed, and that the salary payment for loans could only last three months. In this outcry, wasn’t catering known for high cash flow? Of course, this is not caused by the single factor of the epidemic. Raw materials, labor costs, and rental costs are all hard costs. In addition, the Spring Festival is a golden period for cash flow to return. Catering companies will hoard enough ingredients in accordance with the practice. Expansion model of rolling cash flow. Therefore, during the epidemic period, the already tight cash flow was directly cut off.
We have always been pursuing the efficiency of development and forgetting the probability of emergencies, and cash flow has caused us to reflect. Throughout the ages, every company that can cross the life curve has worked hard to defend it. Compared with the SARS period, today’s Ali is more calm, and its nails have already become daily office software. This is the so-called “insurance” thinking, which is why Ali can fully respond to emergencies. Although the control of survival probability cannot make us run faster, it will definitely make us live longer.
Source improvement, supply chain first
The epidemic once again sounded the alarm of safety for diners. It is fortunate that the origin of the epidemic did not flow into the catering sector. In fact, the catering safety incidents have been endless, which is closely related to the standardization of the catering market. Due to the imbalance of the market, there is double resistance to standardized implementation and supervision. Therefore, almost every time, through the explosion of food hygiene and safety issues, the industry is forced to grow in the basic aspects of food safety. In the process of consulting and planning for the company, I also found that many brands are still in the QSC (quality, service, health) stage. This is both a problem and a chance. In 2003, SARS gave birth to a small hot pot for one person in Taiwan. After the epidemic this year, will there be an outbreak of the one-person food market, or the rise of the divided food economy? It is undeniable that no brand has occupied a certain category of recognition with “food assured”.
Besides, the wholesale market, where the epidemic was found, is also the supply chain end of many catering companies. After the epidemic, the country is bound to strengthen market security standardization and traceability management at the source, which will also force catering companies to upgrade their front-end supply chains. In the procurement of food ingredients, try to avoid the supply side that lacks source tracking management to reduce supply chain risks and put the strategy of hidden competitiveness of the supply chain on the corporate agenda as soon as possible. After the epidemic, the terminal supply chain will usher in explosive growth driven by policies, which will be a turning point in the development of the supply chain.
Reconstruction value, scene migration
Consumer minds have always been the ultimate core of competition. The result of mind is cognition, but cognition itself is constantly escalating and changing. In the catering industry, many people today still insist that “deliciousness” is the only survival principle of catering. We have not denied the value of deliciousness, but today the value needs of consumers may have quietly changed.
The premise of reshaping consumer cognition is that business owners must first change their cognition and return to the value reconstruction centered on consumer cognition. Products with high value and social currency attributes are the current demand and core consumer value of the catering industry. In addition, catering has also migrated from a single experience scene to a more diverse scene. Wenheyou, a Hunan restaurant brand known as “Catering Disney”, also received hundreds of millions of yuan in investment during the epidemic. It’s just a local brand in Changsha, Hunan. Why is it so energetic? Friends who have been to Changsha will understand what Wenheyou forces are. It is no exaggeration to say that there are Wenheyou in places where crowds gather. “Super Wenheyou” is regarded as a benchmark by the industry and subverts the catering industry. Scene recognition.
Cross-bounded, fused and invasive
Cross-border integration is not only the biggest feature of the chaos period in the catering industry, but also a necessary means for the transformation and upgrading of other industries. Cross-border integration has become a quick-effect rescue for almost all industries. Especially in today’s national tide, how many “national brands” want to Use the situation to rise from the dead. Are these once successful brands in the past or in the future? From the rebirth of life to the moment of rebirth to the rebirth of nirvana, it seems that these old brands have more or less won everyone a smile with their cognitive advantages.
According to the author’s analysis, there are two major reasons for the cross-border integration of catering: First, many categories in the industry have ushered in the development stage of subdivision and upgrading, and second, consumer experience values for categories have begun to diversify and three-dimensional. Peter Schumpeter said: “The essence of innovation is to combine existing resources more efficiently and achieve higher efficiency.” The industry’s integrated innovation is a perfect interpretation of this concept. The combination of traditional hot pot and spicy halogens gave birth to halogens. In the category of hot pot cooking, the fusion of tea and baobao created a new tea brand, as well as the fusion of dinner and fast food, the fusion of fast food and snack, snack and dessert, and so on.
At this point, everyone should be inspired by the catering innovation in the chaotic period, but I want to emphasize that there is a method, but do not blindly or randomly cross-border fusion, because cross-border itself has boundaries. The premise of fusion innovation is that the core cognition of the brand should not be changed, and the brand’s genes remain unchanged, but its expression forms are more diverse and transboundary. The so-called old is new, and finally new things are born through fusion. The essence is the upgrading and innovation of categories.
Catering food, catering retail
If the above fusion innovation is about innovation in the industry, then the food and retail of catering is the innovation trend between industries. Former convenience store giants have extended their tentacles to catering, and later new retailers have taken catering as an important part of their new experience, which has led to the development of integration among industries. Both the foodization of food and beverages and the retailing of food and beverages have broken through the inherent boundaries of catering: the break of time and space boundaries directly diversified the consumption scene and infinitely expanded the boundaries of income.
The foodization and retailing of catering enterprises are mainly manifested in three aspects: 1. Foodization of the main products, such as Hunan rice noodles that started as fans, self-heating and convenient hot pot Xiaolongkan; 2. Retailing of food ingredients, such as Xibei’s “Selection of Xibei”, Yunhai Cuisine’s “Lip Nose Point”; 3. IP or extended product retail, such as Starbucks cups, souvenirs, etc. At present, the catering food and retail channels can be third-party supermarkets and convenience stores. Of course, some large catering brands have established their own e-commerce platforms.
There is a period of chaos and confidence
The relationship between a brand and a consumer is like a partner, and the long-term relationship must be based on mutual attraction based on balance. Throughout the past successful brands, whether in catering or other industries, all successful brands insist on being themselves. Kneeling and licking can only give you low-value abandonment, and it is impossible to exchange scum-men’s communication for good looks. In any relationship, human nature can’t afford to test. Only the equal value exchange can attract sleep.
Any industry will leave the chaos period after the overall upgrade. The same is true for the catering industry. Once the chaos period of the upgrade is passed, there will be more opportunities for vertical segmentation. So sooner or later, the chaos period of dining will pass, and the chance of chaos will be fleeting. Please be convinced that after the cold winter, it must be sunny.