The coronavirus pandemic hit the hospitality industry particularly hard, with no remote or home-working options viable for these employees and many still on furlough.
But since lockdown measures were eased this month, venues with outdoor spaces have been thriving – as anyone who unsuccessfully tried to book in a last-minute pint will tell you.
However, and especially as this has been the end of the third national lockdown, the future is still uncertain for the hospitality industry. As we slowly ease back into our social lives, how can accountants support hospitality clients during this tricky time?
By using different options such as outdoor space and deliveries, some have actually thrived during the past year.
Many people are now finding they like these new outdoor areas, and actually being served at the table, continental style, and won’t want to go back into sitting inside a pub in June in the traditional way.
While many hospitality businesses had no option but to turn to furlough, venues can now be proactive now that social distancing measures are being relaxed.
As accountants we can advise hospitality clients on what they can do rather than what they can’t, to help them stay ahead of the competition. This can include advice on how maximising outdoor space need not necessarily cost a lot of money. We have a key role in assisting them to adapt to a new, or modified, business model.
We can also advise on how investing in equipment and furniture for these spaces maximises their appeal, with outdoor seating or even heaters for the coming winter months to ensure longevity in investments.
Services we can offer which can help clients in the hospitality business include creating a 12-month plan. Once that’s established, we can then create a forecast of how to get there.
On the back of the 12-month plan, we can make time to sit down and monitor progress – look at what is or isn’t working and adjust accordingly.
The most successful strategies start with communication, so consistent communication with our clients is a top priority. We need to find out what is going on with them. What are they offering? Are they opening up? Do they do takeaways?
Get down to the detail of how they’re offering deliveries – what sources are they using? Once we know the business inside and out, we can give proper advice on which avenues to pursue, which will most financially benefit clients, or when to start exploring other options in their business.
The challenges of furlough, lost teams and financial struggles remain, with some businesses having completely empty their bank accounts during the pandemic.
To stay on top of cash flow, we can supply clients live data throughout the entire process. Being able to give live information, assistance and vision on what the business is doing will support growth as hospitality clients return to a normal way of operating.
With further easing of lockdown rules for hospitality coming on May 17 and a full-reopening of businesses in June, Covid-allowing, hopes for hospitality are looking brighter and we can play our part by supporting clients with expert advice.