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Life Post-COVID19: Lessons from the Shanghai F&B Industry

With classes finishing online this semester, F&B lecturers at Les Roches in Shanghai have immersed themselves in restaurants and hotels across the city. Through their industry internships, our chefs and lecturers share the lessons they’ve learned on how businesses can adapt to thrive in a life post-pandemic.

With Shanghai easing its quarantine restrictions early this year, how is the local F&B industry doing after the lockdown?

People are spending money and going out; a lot of companies are doing a lot of digital promotions and actions. People are getting together to have nice food, meet friends and business partners, and celebrate life.

– Robert van Der Ham, Director of F&B Practical Program

While buffets remain closed, most restaurants are back to normal, with many heavily investing in promotions. Some restaurants and hotels are even looking to hire new people.

– Kenny Xue

There are people outside, and even obscure, local places are busy. Some restaurants are doing even better now than before the lockdown, especially those who have had delivery systems in place. The pandemic is reshuffling the way the industry is making money.

– Chef Laurent

Ensuring customers’ health and safety is now, more than even, a main priority for businesses. How have restaurants in Shanghai evolved and what can we learn from their example?

(In line with government quarantine regulations, restaurants require customers to present a green health code, a QR code assigned to people who have completed their quarantine, and check their temperatures before entering.)

While there has yet to be clear guidelines set for F&B, large organizations in the city have done the research and work. F&B Managers, in setting a list of priorities for re-opening, should focus on creating a confinement system, sanitizing carpets, and ensuring the health of personnel. This includes monitoring and training people on how to protect themselves and prevent cross-contamination.

– Chef Laurent

What is your advice for F&B professionals outside China?

Don’t be afraid to reopen. This new reality is going to go on for many years. Do the work. Learn confinement. Buy the right equipment. Do the training. Businesses who will ensure safety are the ones who are going to do well. If you pretend that this is going to be gone, you will be in big trouble.

– Chef Laurent