How To Get Supplies for Your Café During a Lockdown

Although running a business in the service industry has always been lucrative, the world has suddenly witnessed firsthand how the tides can change. In 2020, these scary tidal changes came with the novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, after which the whole world went into lockdown. Now that we’re months deep into the lockdown, we’ve started getting better accustomed to the situation, so, even if we’d seen much better times, we can try to make the best out of our current predicament. When it comes to our Cafés, it all comes down to managing our resources in order to increase profits and minimize losses. The short answer to achieving this goal lies in planning for and getting your supplies. 

Planning for Supplies in a Lockdown

Maintaining a profitable business in the middle of a lockdown is truly challenging. In order to survive, you’ll find that flexibility, adaptation, quick thinking, and adequate planning are all essential skills you can’t do without anymore. Your main goal should be to find the balance between supply and demand, which is the central point around which you plan your operations. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to find this balance:

  • Assess Your Current Situation

You’ve definitely realized by now how your operations have changed ever since the lockdown, and this will be the first point to put on paper. You’ll realize that the operations aren’t the only thing that’s changed in your business; everything from finances to logistics to customers has changed. You need to make an accurate assessment of your current situation; everything that’s changed and the impact of these changes on your business operations and revenue.

  • Revisit Your Menus

Once you start going in-depth into these changes, you’ll realize how the demands of your customers have greatly changed. You’ll be able to analyze your menu items and divide those on high demand from the forgotten ones, which you’ll need to remove. Your new menu should focus on providing the items you know will sell; there’s no room for the rest of low-demand items in these turbulent times. 

  • Revise Your Business Plan

You’ve witnessed firsthand how your business has been turned upside down in a matter of days, thanks to the lockdown. With barely any customers ordering in and operation hours put under many restrictions, you must look for a new business model to drive revenue. Like most cafes and restaurants, your best bet would be to reinforce takeaways and delivery services, but this change in tactics will require equivalent changes in your business plan, operations, inventory, and marketing.

  • Analyze Your Inventory

After you’ve reached a final conclusion about all the changes you’ll need to implement, there are high chances that your inventory will need a lot of remodeling. Before updating your menu, you’ll need to make sure you have the equipment you need to drive these changes. It will certainly take some research and planning, but your complete coffee resource can be the shortcut you need into narrowing down your options. After carefully choosing the equipment, you’ll also plan for the rest of the supplies you need, such as the components, containers, packaging, and others. 

How to Get Supplies During a Lockdown

One of the biggest problems we’ve all started facing ever since the lockdown is the disruption in our business operations thanks to the economic lockdown. For some businesses, it meant an overflow of supplies, but for others, it was the shortage thereof. Such disruption has, naturally, forced us into reconsidering our tactics and finding new ways to accommodate in this new world, and here are some of the ways you can get your supplies in the lockdown:

  • Stockpiling Goods

As soon as we’d caught wind of the lockdown, everyone started panicking and the store shelves were wiped clean of all goods. It was only natural for citizens to start stockpiling on life essentials in the face of a disaster, and there’s no reason why business owners had to act differently. Many cafe owners, all around the world, started stockpiling supplies to cover the next few months’ operations. 

  • Look for New Deals

Stockpiling can work with certain supplies, but what happens when your dealer runs out of business? Unfortunately, not every business has been resilient enough to withstand the shock, and many of those working in the supply chain were just as affected as anyone else. Whether your supply chain partner’s business has shut down, their operations were paused, or you need new supplies to adapt to the tidal changes, you’ll need to look for new deals to maintain your business. For instance, partnering up with other local businesses to find a new supplier, share delivery services, or offer shared packages can be a winning situation for all parties. 

Making a small mistake can come at a hefty price you can’t afford, but proper planning can save your business in the face of an economic disaster. Despite the disruption of operations and the troubles facing supply chains, you can maintain a profitable business if you act smartly. As long as you keep a good balance between supply and demand, you can be sure you’re on the right path in your plan. 


Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.