As the health and economic shock caused by COVID-19 seems to have peaked in many developed countries, the focus have shifted to the recovery phase in the Asia Pacific region.
We have interviewed Amy Hong, Winnow’s Operation Manager who is based in our office in Singapore from where we serve the Asia-Pacific market.
Amy gave us some insight into how the hospitality and foodservice sector is coming back to life in the region, how the pandemic has created a major shift in the habits of consumers and the challenges operators are facing while adjusting to the new normal.
- What are the main changes you see in the operation of kitchens after the lockdown period?
Some of the all day dining operations that were able to open already - previously offering all day dining buffet - now operate as a hot pot restaurants with limited opening hours. These operations are also using their unutilized kitchen space - such as banqueting - to work on production for other outlets, rearranging their resources internally.
- What are the top challenges kitchen teams struggled with after the reopening?
Volatile occupancy rates are causing challenges in production planning. Operations also have to reposition their F&B offering in a way that is attracting guests. The competition is high so they have to think about a unique selling point for their restaurant.
- How do you see consumer habits be affected now that many hospitality operations have reopened in APAC and how do you see the sector’s reaction to these changes?
In APAC, from both a consumer and from the F&B operator’s side, buffet is still the preferred offering. As the region is opening up, these are operating with a higher standard of hygiene requirements and they have more live stations where people are served by plate. Hotels have also begun delivering food. I feel that this trend will stay even after the coronavirus pandemic is over. This is an added revenue stream for these operations and consumers become accustomed to quick deliveries at their doorstep.
- What are the key things you believe foodservice operators need to get right for a successful recovery?
Being agile is key to adapting your offering quickly. Previously in the buffet business, menus were reviewed every three months. The current situation prompts operators to become quicker to act on changes whether it is due to supply change or customer preference.
- How the new features of Winnow’s technology helped clients over this period?
The images we are providing to our clients through Winnow Vision are crucial. By using the power of images, we do not only focus on overproduction but we discover other areas of waste such as trimmings. The Gallery View feature, alongside the transaction list and timeline, provides an image-only view of transactions integrated with the advanced filters. This helps our clients to get deeper insights and find opportunities to improve their operations.
Banner Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash