One of the key lessons that firms have learned from the pandemic is to be more agile and dynamic, Fort says. “For example, we’ve been working with the owners of a country house hotel during the pandemic who have invested their own money into the building and its grounds. They’ve done this because they see potential with the pent-up demand there is for the likes of christenings and weddings.”
Kiddies Kingdom’s Patel says the pandemic has provided the opportunity for his business to modernise. “The future of retail is online, so we believe having the best processes to accommodate for this is vital. We introduced virtual shopping appointments, which have given us the opportunity to reach out to both existing parents and parents-to-be all over the globe. Over the past year, we’ve served customers from Pakistan, Turkey and beyond, as well as continuing to deliver to our loyal customer base here in the UK.”
Jonathan Reed, Managing Director of coffee shop chain Paddy & Scott’s, says his primary focus is the well-being of his staff. “It’s people that make a business successful,” he explains. “A year is a long time to endure so much instability, and people’s priorities have changed during the many lockdowns.
“When we reopened in April, we wanted our team to be in the jobs they wanted so they come back safe, confident and raring to go. With that, each team member had the opportunity to re-craft their role and bring any newly learned skills to the fore, while having access to return-to-work meetings, one-to-one coaching sessions, well-being workouts and our very own well-being guru. We wanted to get the best from our team and it has paid off. We are now rebuilding our hospitality businesses from the ground up with a happy and stable team in place.”