Hospitality – What’s next after a turbulent few years.

Well it’ll come as no surprise that it’s been a turbulent few years for all of us in the hospitality industry.

However, we can only hope that the days of repeated closures and re-openings, adapting to new and challenging ways of working safely during a pandemic and ever-changing government advice and instructions are now over and we can plan again for the future of our business.

But of course it’s not as simple as that. Like all pubs, restaurants and hotels we are experiencing real difficulties in attracting the talent we need to succeed. Job adverts, especially for chefs, that previously attracted multiple applications now receive only a smattering of interest and if we do find a perfect candidate, we are often unable to meet their salary expectations. To do so we would have to increase prices at a time when the cost of living crisis is negatively affecting the customer’s spending power.

Instead, like many businesses, we have no choice but to cut opening hours so that staff do not suffer burnout, whilst somehow increasing turnover so that we can offer better wages.

If we had the answer to that one we’d be millionaires.

Yet there are many positives. Customers have, on the whole, returned gladly to pubs. We are now restriction-free and can enjoy seeing our customers appreciate the real pub experience, chatting and socialising as before. People want great food, great beer and great service and it is our aim to provide all three at the best quality. We have improved and extended our food menu, our drink offering is constantly evolving to reflect what the customer wants and all our front of house staff are attending bespoke customer service courses.

But there is always more we can do. We are now looking at innovative social media strategies to increase awareness of what we offer, which will concentrate on our recent re-branding as a Community Town Local pub and our links with other businesses in Nantwich. Quiz nights in aid of local charities have recently been re-introduced and we will be using our lovely beer garden to host some live music. We are so lucky to be in such a vibrant, thriving town as Nantwich, and intend to capitalise on the huge numbers of visitors to events such as the Food Festival and the Words and Music Festival later in the year.

Our next big challenge will be the football World Cup in November/December – watch this space for how we plan to tackle that!