After all of the recent media coverage you could be forgiven for thinking that the only food retailers in New Zealand were McDonalds and Burger Fuel. 

With the media making hay whilst the sun is shining on their patch they have chosen to focus their attention on a couple of businesses that they would like to represent the whole industry. One good and one not so much.

Its incredibly tempting to get involved in public and industry debates but despite the satisfaction from throwing our two cents in, there is a cost involved. It diverts and distracts us away from whats really important right now. Doing business and getting profitable again.

With Level Three underway its up to us to set the agenda of what is discussed and how our industry is portrayed. We can talk about whats wrong and the doom and gloom or we can focus on the good and positive.

We need to set the agenda and, in my opinion, that is focussing on the best coffee in the world and how the hospitality industry is going to lead the country when the pandemic has finally washed up.

Focussing on the positive doesn’t prohibit us from confronting reality, but we won’t get this industry back unless we focus on whats great about it.

Lets also not forget, there are a ton of good news stories out there. Stories of cafe owners supporting our emergency services, stories of businesses who have restarted strongly. Heck, stories about great coffee will work well right now.

My business is running a programme for owners that focusses on three aspects of surviving the pandemic: protecting, pivoting and promoting.

The key to success for the hospitality industry is the last element of that. Promoting ourselves and our industry will be the key to getting back to normal. 

The pragmatist in me is wary of painting a rosy picture when we are yet to really get going, we truly don’t know whats going to happen. But I can assure you, if we focus on the negative stories that’s where we’ll head.

Right now we need to get behind our business, our colleagues and our industry. If we want people to get behind us, we need to get behind each other. 

By Matt Fitzsimmons

Matt Fitzsimmons, known as the Café Doctor, has helped café and restaurant owners get more time, profits and freedom from their business.

Contact Matt Fitzsimmons or check out the Café Dr website