22 Jul 2020 by Charles Manners
We are coming out of lockdown but far too slowly for our sector; in Germany 80% of office workers are back in their offices, whilst I accept London travel is different we are in danger as a society of being too cautious which will if it continues will be devasting for our sector and economy.
The recent Chancellor announcements are very helpful; the big players have passed on the VAT saving, whilst many smaller operators are using the saving to help their cash flow and save jobs. Our experience at the Ludlow Farm where we have re-opened the café is that we are trading at 65% of last year’s figures, and whilst this is increasing, and there have been very few comments on the fact that we are holding onto the VAT break.
What we are undoubtedly seeing is considerable change which is amplifying trends we saw before the crisis for example:
- Contactless payment, has now become the norm
- Takeaway has become ingrained in people’s habits and the quality and value is good
- Agile working practices in offices will become the norm
- Local artisan foods have seen high demand which appears to be holding up
In contract terms we are seeing joint venture agreements that will drive innovation and partnership which we have seen in larger businesses but are now being put in place in smaller contracts that historically would have been commission based.
As ever it is a changing landscape!!