With 11 of its restaurants still closed, of the 43 it has in the country, Burger King, a franchise managed in Colombia by Master, is trying to return to the new normal that the covid-19 imposed on Colombia.
Like hundreds of restaurants and businesses, this pandemic forced them to make tough adjustments in their operation, in projects and even in the menu they offer to their customers. “We learned to prioritize and we realized that we had products that were not so in demand”, says Alejandro Henao, manager of this fast food restaurant, who says that this experience has awakened among his collaborators a greater sense of belonging for their work.You can also read:
What lesson does this whole crisis leave you?
We saw a fairly complex April, with uncertainty and sales never seen before. The dynamics of the new type of consumption (homes, buy to go) has given us a good result. We have made decisions that the business needed and, although we have a very clear framework of how we define addressing this situation, we also speak of being very dynamic, and in that we learned to accelerate processes that previously took a long time, while remaining responsible. Today, sensitivity, simplicity, and speed are part of decision making. We have made sacrifices and we focus on what is relevant and generates business transformation.
What have they stopped doing, for example?
Several things; For example, we simplify the menu because even though we are a brand with a wide variety of products, there are some that customers ask for more frequently; we also left pending some releases that we had.
But we intensify the investment in marketing to communicate these changes, because I am convinced that in this situation one cannot disappear. Today, the restaurant experience became an experience at home, and I have to improve the protocols so that the products that we deliver at home are the same as those that we deliver in restaurants.
And have the workers understood it correctly?
We had to make difficult decisions from the point of view of some unpaid leaves of absence with the staff, we made adaptations so that the processes are better, seeking sustainability of the firm.
What I do want to highlight is the commitment of the people, because we already take this as our own, a job on which families, supply chains, partners depend, and those of us in this ecosystem want to do everything possible to maintain it, and it has not been easy. We have never felt so much dynamic of positive transformation and of contributing so much, with intense and difficult work days.
What we want is for our customers to be able to return, those who came before and those who met us through the home and digital platforms, because in the end the restaurant experience is what many have been waiting for.
Did fast food restaurants suffer less at this juncture?
Although for us in this category, homes are family, they were never the largest share of the business, we speak of between 12 and 15 percent, but when a restaurant is converted almost 100 percent to homes, the dynamics change and it becomes more as an intense production line that requires great precision, to which must be added security protocols, new packaging that guarantee the protection of customers, regardless of the channel through which they are reached.
When do you think they are 100%?
We expect that in September we will have all the restaurants operating, it all depends on the activation of the food areas in the shopping centers and airports, where we have three restaurants: two in El Dorado and one in Rionegro. I am very optimistic because in the first two days of reopening in shopping centers there has been a greater influx of people.
Now customers’ pets are part of their homes …
Yes. Before the pandemic, this launch was made in other countries. We saw the opportunity to have special attention for those family members in the midst of this pandemic. So, for the purchase of a hamburger we give away two Dogking cookies made with all quality protocols. We wanted to honor those colleagues who have seen so many homes arrive, but nothing for them.
ECONOMY AND BUSINESS