Over the past 6 months, Covid-19 has forced thousands of hospitality businesses to change the way they do things in order to survive. But, amidst the struggles of closure, isolation and social distancing, we’ve also seen incredible amounts of creativity and initiative, with businesses offering everything from online wine-tastings to sit-down discos in order to remain profitable.
As a second lockdown takes hold, it’s more important than ever to explore new ways to survive a month of closure and continue to bring in revenue. To help you get inspired, we’ve put together a list of local businesses that nailed a Covid-19 pivot:
Bristol-based events company, Pytch have been working on new technologies to make energy generation at live events more environmentally friendly. ‘SolCell’ effectively means that live events can generate their own power on-site, and events can be run from renewable power alone, at zero cost. Impressive stuff.
The Spotted Cow is among dozens of pubs across the country that have started offering a new ‘pub desk’ service. With so many people now working remotely, it’s a great way to make up for lost revenue after the impact of the 10pm curfew and a month of closure.
Post-lockdown, people will be itching to get out of the house, so offering somewhere cosy to work, WIFI and free tea or coffee for a set price is a great Covid-safe way to boost sales once venues have reopened.
Breaking Bread is a socially distanced pop-up housing a number of the city’s local favourites, including The Pony & Trap, Pasta Loco, Pasta Ripiena, and a bar run by Team Love. Breaking Bread has given musicians and comedians a much-needed opportunity to perform while venues across the city have been closed. They’ve now closed for the Winter, but are making plans to return in 2021.
Top tip: If you’re not sure how to pivot alone – why not team up with another business!
Created by the team behind Wriggle, The Bristol Pantry pulls together fantastic local produce from across the city. When venues closed in March, many took to selling food and drink online – to save consumers from having to order from lots of differently suppliers separately, Bristol Pantry brings together the best independent producers on a single, easy to use website, and delivers to your door.
KASK Wine have identified the perfect way to get everyone through the winter months – cheese and wine! KASK To Your Door is a weekly delivery of wine and cheese and is now available on their online shop. They’re also hosting virtual tasting sessions via Zoom, where participants are guided through each wine. We love this idea, and think it’s the perfect pivot ahead of the festive season.
Psychopomp micro-distillery have also launched some fantastic online events, including a ‘classic gin cocktail mix along’ and a virtual distillers table event. In the run up to Christmas, people will be looking increasingly for socially distanced ways to celebrate with their friends that don’t involve the phrase ‘zoom quiz’, so it’s well worth considering if there’s a way you can bring the events you would usually run at this time of year, online.
Flipside are once again offering their ‘cocktails 2 you‘ delivery service – bringing cocktails mixed and ready to go to your door. This is a great way to keep ‘bar’ sales up, and avoid precious stock going to waste.
Top tip: Why not go a step further by offering online mixology classes or a ‘history behind the cocktail’ session.
‘Adelina at your yard’ is a collection service from Adelina Yard restaurant, offering locally sourced fine dining kits, produce boxes, cheese, wines and more.
Bringing the eating-out experience to the comfort of peoples homes is a natural go-to for venues having to close their doors for November. Some have simply listed what’s available and when on their social media channels and asked customers to message with their orders – it doesn’t need to be complicated!
Heartfelt Vintage are once again offering afternoon tea at home and virtual Bridal appointments until the end of November. Baked from scratch and delicately packaged – their bespoke afternoon teas make beautiful gifts as well as the perfect at-home treat.
Top tip: The lead up to the festive period is a great time to market your offering as something that can be given as gift – if you can’t offer delivery or click and collect, consider selling vouchers for customers to use when things are up and running again.
You don’t need to be a restaurant to operate delivery – events catering company, Kates Kitchen are once again offering their very popular home delivery and collection service.
Top tip: Even if your business made it through lockdown and social distancing without setting up food delivery, now is truly the time to embrace it. Even if you think your menu can’t be delivered – there’s always a creative solution for getting your french onion soup or beef bourguignon to customers at home. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to adapt your existing menu to create delivery friendly options!
Since March, BARBIE has worked tirelessly to support the people and venues of Bristol’s hospitality scene. Between campaigning, lobbying and generally making a lot of noise, the BARBIE team are also working on a brand new app for independent businesses, with a host of features from delivery and click and collect to table ordering and special offers.