The first in the series is with our Compass Group Australia colleagues. Alice Woodwark (Managing Director of RA Group UK) talks to senior counterparts in Australia including Jonny Neech (GM of Brand and Business Excellence – Compass Group Australia); Simon Fraquelli – (GM of B&I at Compass Group Australia); Elaine Koh (Operations Manager at Restaurant Associates Australia); Vanessa Crichton (National Operations Manager at Compass Group Australia); Adam Harding (Operations Manager at Eurest Australia) alongside David Simms (Culinary Director of RA Group UK), Gavin Gooddy (Marketing Director of RA Group UK) and Sonia Cavalho (Head of Coffee & Community at RA Group UK).
The panel discusses several key themes including how delivery services are reshaping the hospitality landscape from mobile coffee bikes to home delivered food parcels and virtual events. The speed of innovation across both sides of the planet has been fast and furious with new concepts being developed from supercharged cleaning operations to more effective forms of communications with clients, customers and the wider community.
Another key topic of discussion was around how the second wave of covid impacted the state of Victoria with a second lockdown happening only months ago. Vanessa and Adam discuss how the return to lockdown put a holt to venues reopening and life returning to any form of normality. All short-term plans were cancelled, and people’s behaviours dramatically changed. As a result, people are far more conscientious of social distancing, wearing masks and respecting the health and safety rules. With the belief that business will return to normal, people adhered to the rules and reduced the infection rate significantly ultimately allowing society to reopen in Victoria during October.
Both countries agreed that the way forward was to focus on being more agile and dynamic. As a result, they have made huge strides into being better equipped to respond to the ever-changing customer need states. The pandemic has given both countries far more confidence in overcoming adversities and the belief that we will have a far more sustainable businesses in the future.