How To Lead Multi-Location Hospitality Businesses to Success

Here at Bizimply we have been working hard while the world is in lockdown. Its been a great time to catch up and think about what we do and why we do it. This has led to us thinking about how we and the industry might #BounceBackBetter. 
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Managing Hospitality

Here at Bizimply we have been working hard while the world is in lockdown. It’s been a great time to catch up and think about what we do and why we do it. This has led to us thinking about how we and the industry might #BounceBackBetter. 

Speaking to many customers it seems we are not alone, and lots of operators are busy being positive and taking actions (either personal or as a business) to ensure when we return to normal human interactions and social activities, we will be better people and better businesses.

So what have we been hearing and thinking about?  The role of leadership, while oft-spoken of prior to COVID19, is playing an enormous role in the preparation for coming back. However, we are not talking about the executive or head office leaders here, the people on the blogs and webinars. We are talking about the individual unit leadership, the managers and supervisors. Many are currently furloughed but the great ones are not wasting their time on YouTube or Netflix.

 We have noticed many furloughed managers and supervisors are attending our regular training sessions to get a better handle on their in-store technology and how it can help them be better managers on return. This has led us to ask “What does being a better manager mean?” – In business leaders spend their valuable time in one place, on the floor with their people and their customers. This is where our customers and our people will require leaders to be when the return comes. Why? Because leadership above all else gives us confidence and reassurance. Everybody will be nervous as we return.

Great leaders have one thing in mind when seeking to ensure their people and customers are confident and reassured, ”have I got the right people in the right place in the right position to do the job that needs to be done now, with the right ATTITUDE”.

Right People.

 As we consider how our business is going to pivot or how our business is going to change we need to look at the operation;

  • What are the new jobs to be done? Restaurant Dive published this great article which outlines how some businesses in the US have been pivoting to new modes of business practice.
  • Who are the team members who can best be trusted to adapt to these adjusted working patterns as quickly and positively as possible?
  • What training and coaching will be required for them to be successful, what can you get done NOW before reopening?

Think now, write a list and ensure these are the people you are actively engaging with through furlough. Consider some of the thoughts here, from Jonah Berger: How to Persuade People to Change Their Behavior.

Right Place.

Many multi site operators will have some stores or some units that are more appropriate to open than others, choose carefully;

  • Footfall affects – how is it going to be affected by a gradual return to normality. Will the footfall and customers be there for you -should you open?
    • If it’s normally an office-oriented location are those offices working again?
    • Is it in a shopping area, are the other operators open?
    • Is it a neighbourhood store, are more home workers creating a new market for you?
  • Store layout:
    • Is the layout appropriate to changes to allow for social distancing and easy pick up and delivery management?
    • How are you going to monitor and how are you going to manage safe distancing both within the operation yourself among your own people but also with the customers
    • Can the store management create an environment where the following suggestions are easily implemented, see more on the Bizimply COVID19 response centre!
    • Daily temperature checks on all employees and confirmation of fitness to work
    • Disposable/view only menus and price lists
    • People who are assigned to constantly wipe down high-contact surfaces
    • Hand sanitizer located throughout the premises
    • Employees wearing masks and gloves
    • Separate entrances and/or roadside pickup remains for takeout guests
    • Bar seating will be removed and reconfigured to allow six feet between bar stools
    • Bar servers will take orders and deliver drinks and food but will not linger across from guests
    • Overnight cleaning crews that are more rigorous and thorough

Right Position.

Pre COVID-19 staff probably specialised in one job in your operations – skilled only in one area as a bartender, chef, barista, waiting staff, porter etc.

However, post COVID especially during the ramp up phase, we need to think about multi-skilling our people. Maybe the bar and waiting staff merge, maybe people bartend for half their shift and wait on table for the other half of their shift, maybe porters can run food.  Cross utilisation of staff is important for flexibility, but also potentially for setting up separate small work teams to reduce the possibility of cross infection within the overall team.

Speaking with multiple operators, we have found in the Bizimply Survey that Cross-skilling and also training on new roles is a big part of the operational planning for getting back to work. For example, door management, surface disinfecting etc. will play a big part in the selection and training decisions being made.

Attitude – The Winner.

 How do we make sure we are bringing back the right people, bringing them back to the right location and bringing them back to do the right position, is critical for any leader. We require flexibility and patience among our team, but they require confidence and reassurance. Our experience tells us that those staff members with the best attitude are those who understand our Brand, and live by its core values as discussed here. Get these people back first working with flexibility, providing confidence and reassurance to colleagues and customers. This will set the tone for the future, a future that will be bright for those who learn, for they will #Bouncebackbetter.

We at Bizimply look out for businesses affected by this crisis and pledge to bring you and your staff back to success and beyond. Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or social media if you have any questions:


(UK) +44 203 642 5644

(IRE) +353 (1) 254 2524

Email: [email protected]

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Twitter DM: @Bizimply

LinkedIn: Bizimply

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