Have you been able to adapt to the so-called «new normality»? Are there any difficulties that are still difficult to get used to?
It is safe to say that we were able to adapt. Naturally, there was a revision of budgets, but in the conditions of «new normality» our hotel projects have a good level of load, though with prices far from seasonal, but at the moment it is a common problem of the whole market. The most difficult feel is restaurant projects, which have taken the main blow because of the large number of restrictions.
It is worth mentioning separately the changes in consumer behavior, which, I am sure, can be noted by the overwhelming majority of market players. This creates difficulties, but thanks to a great team and increased attention from key people in the company, our operations are adapting to these changes.
Is your company preparing for the second wave of coronavirus? What exactly is it doing?
It is quite difficult to predict the second wave and new restrictions for business that will be associated with it. There can be no universal strategy, we certainly take into account the experience of a full lockdown, hold preliminary negotiations with key suppliers, do not allow debts to them, which will allow us to feel more confident during the possible second wave. The main thing we can do is to keep our business as healthy as possible and be prepared to minimize our losses.
Catering and hotels suffered the most after the first wave. How do you think the second wave will affect your market (sphere)? Why?
The effect of the second wave of coronavirus on the Horeca segment is inevitable, but will entirely depend on the severity of the restrictions imposed by the government or supervisory authorities. The first wave exhausted all major market players due to the lack of any significant support from the state. In the event of a repeat of a complete lockdown, the collapse of many market players is inevitable, it will cost the country’s economy as a whole extremely dearly.
Do you think the authorities will close crowded places (restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, etc.) if the coronavirus situation worsens? Are you ready to close? What do you plan in this case?
We tend to believe that point restrictions will be imposed, and we also hope to increase the general consciousness of our society, namely, compliance with the mask regime, social distance and all security measures. For our part, we take the most comprehensive protection measures to ensure the safety of our Guests and employees. We prefer not to predict or guess about the deterioration of the situation, but to be prepared, both for a full lockdown with suspension of activities, and to restrictions or reduction of the flow of Guests.
What do you intend to do if the situation becomes more complicated before the New Year? How will this affect you and your market?
The introduction of restrictions and a repeat of quarantine before the New Year will have an extremely negative impact on the restaurant market, which is very much counting on December and an increase in turnover. This will not be a defining one for the market, but it will be a very serious call for all of us.
The full material of «Delovoy Petersburg» with my opinion and the opinion of other experts can be read Деловой Петербург.