COVID-19 – Understanding Its Impact On Those In The Specialty Food Industry
July 26, 2021
Article Overview10min read
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected industries worldwide, and one that has taken the brunt of its effects is the specialty food industry. The increased rate of unemployment and recession has led to consumers’ disposable income drastically reducing. And this, combined with other factors, has caused the demand for premium food and beverage products to fall. Restaurant consultants in Dubai believe that this has significantly impacted the industry, and in this article, we will examine how it has done so.
What is the specialty food industry?
It is a branch of the restaurant industry that focuses on selling specialty food and beverage products. It includes coffee shops, chocolatiers, bakeries, and ice cream outlets.
The Impact on profit
The falling demand for non-essential products has led to reduced patronage in specialty food outlets. While the demand is not eliminated, it is significantly reduced. Thus, causing a drastic drop in profit and monthly turnovers. Another factor influencing the reduced interest is the increased concern for personal safety and restrictions placed on the number of people allowed to enter an outlet. The reduction in the number of customers has led most establishments to face significant losses and resort to cutbacks and layoffs to help maintain some stability.
The Impact on products offered.
To maintain profitability or ensure the losses are not too significant, most establishments had to adjust the product range they offer.
Items with fewer sales were removed from the menu, and focus shifted to ones that have higher sales. Therefore, the level of innovation in the industry has significantly diminished.
Another consequence is that most people who follow specific dietary restrictions may find it more challenging to source products as specialty food outlets will produce a limited quantity or cease production entirely. If your establishment wishes to continue making less demanded items, then the sales of your popular ones should be significant enough to negate the losses.
The Impact on physical stores
The operating costs of running a physical store is high and can be challenging to manage when your establishment is running at a loss. While government programs provide some relief, it is not enough to sustain an outlet for an extended period; therefore, store closures have become standard in the specialty food industry.
To survive the pandemic’s effects and retain their store, most establishments resorted to food delivery services as more people are now inclined to purchase food online than visiting a physical outlet. There is also a surge in solely online-based establishments, as the operating costs are further reduced.
The Impact on social media
With the increase in home-based or online food establishments, most social media platforms have introduced functions to help businesses establish a digital presence and gain a customer base. They also have services available that can be utilized for restaurant marketing purposes. For example, Snapchat plans to introduce public profiles for businesses that can help your brand have unique content and an organic presence on its platform, regardless of size.
By establishing a strong digital presence, establishments can continue to build customer relationships and interest with minimal costs. Thus if you wish to open or re-open a physical outlet after the pandemic, you will be able to do so easily, as you already possess a loyal customer base.
The pandemic has changed how the specialty food industry operates, and its effects are expected to be long-lasting. Hospitality consultants in Dubai believe that to some extent, the state of the industry will return to pre-pandemic levels, a complete recovery may take a considerable amount of time.