The lockdown meant complete shutdown of business and we were left sitting on full inventories in the kitchen as well as beverage. Yes, we incurred losses with perishable stocks. But after a month, I decided to start working from home, catering to my database of regulars at Cavatina. So I started my weekend specials and I would personally deliver them.
We have re-opened with 50% seating capacity and adhere to all standard operating procedures on people’s safety and hygiene; but it’s very difficult to cut 50% of the staff as we have a loyal team working for me, some of whom are sole breadwinners for the family.
Yes, floors are being cleaned, every table has a set of special sanitizer, the washrooms are disinfected, our team is inspected before starting work, and guests are also checked before being seated. So as far as guest experience goes, we are giving attention to detail and providing a much more personalised, yet safe, service.
The cost of ingredients has certainly shot up due to various reasons. All liquor prices have also increased post lockdown. But we have kept our pricing the same.
We are playing with the menu to make it more exciting: every week we offer something special. Combo packs, plates to share, family meals and tasting menus have been our tools.
This is a trying time for all of us. Honesty is the best policy now; so be true to your customer. Innovative thinking is a better approach rather than cost-cutting. I believe your products should stand apart from the others.