Wholesalers must remain focused on customer needs

Now ‘Super Saturday’ has been and gone, the hospitality industry is reflecting on how the ‘big re-opening’ played out.

According to new research from KAM, 28% of UK adults visited a pub or restaurant over re-opening weekend and a further 17% plan to visit in the next week.

However, for some, the return to pubs and restaurants wasn’t up to scratch. 18% of those who visited on re-opening weekend said they would not be back again for a while. A further 36% of those who returned said they will continue to visit but not to the same extent as pre-lockdown.

KAM research shows that making a customer feel safe is the number one priority for venues right now – they’re looking for relevant hygiene solutions and ways to communicate safety in their venues. And operators need to ensure they are also providing a fun, enjoyable experience too.

These first few weeks will be critical and operators need to act fast to understand why customers may have negative feelings about their first experience so that they can turn that sentiment around, fast. Any support that wholesalers and suppliers can offer to help them understand exactly what their customers want from the experience will be appreciated.

Wholesalers should be thinking about how they can support their hospitality customers who will be re-visiting their menus. Many are simplifying them in to ensure dishes are safe to make, ensures availability and to defend margins. They also need ‘safe’ pre-packaged snacking solutions.

Wholesalers need to listen carefully to their hospitality customers to be one step ahead and help them understand end consumer and customer trends. Focusing on customers for the long-term is critical – wholesalers shouldn’t throw lots of ideas and support at them and then let it dry up after a few weeks. Instead, focus on solutions and initiatives that will support this industry ongoing.

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