If You Are A Chef, Think Of Industrial Engineering And Logistics

Just when things appear to be improving, the number of Covid-19 infections in a number of US states rose to record levels. This happened when the lockdown eased in many locations in the US and the economy started to appear to go back to normal. The result is a number of states or locations reverted back to imposing restrictions like the mandatory wearing of face masks or the closure of bars. However unlike in the earlier cases, this time the majority of those infected were younger people. These were the individuals who went to bars, restaurants, gatherings and other mass events likely without wearing face masks.

Startups gearing to go during this easing of restrictions have no choice but to hold back. That is unless you are a startup which caters for those who are affected by lockdowns. Which is the reason why the share prices of companies like Zoom are breaking records. This inevitably begs the question whether Zoom could still be in demand if Covid-19 suddenly disappears or a workable vaccine was found. This question is also useful for startups to answer. In the case of Zoom, its customers would probably see the benefits of online meetings even after Covid-19. Suppose your startup is in the business of manufacturing face masks or ventilators to take advantage of the high demand now, then there is a danger that demand for your products may dwindle when the Covid-19 crisis is over. Of course the startup could broaden its product range to personal protection equipment or PPE. Still demand may fall significantly after the crisis.

On the other hand, if the startup is in a business which could only thrive when Covid-19 is no longer a threat, the danger is, as some experts say, the virus may be with us for a long time. Some entrepreneurs have tunnel vision when coming up with a startup plan. The entrepreneur who wants to open a restaurant probably has a sit in concept associated with it. They would not likely plan for home deliveries in their strategy except when faced with lockdowns like in today’s Covid-19 era. One could of course link up with food delivery companies to do the fulfillment. However both the setup of the restaurant and the costs charged by food delivery companies would not be optimal in realizing good profits.

Therefore, one could learn from McDonald’s which always had a sizable food delivery service in addition to dining in at its outlets. With a good setup for both dining in as well as takeaways amd deliveries, McDonald’s operations are optimal for whatever situation. Thus in a lockdown scenario, these outlets could still perform reasonably well. Actually the reason why the entrepreneur, likely a chef, has a dine in concept for the restaurant lies in the person’s skills set. The skills set of a chef is in cooking. The way in which McDonald’s operates its outlets has to do more with industrial engineering and  logistics than cooking per se. These are areas in which the chef or most other entrepreneurs have little or no expertise. Solution of course is to partner people who are unlike you and have expertise in those areas. These people would look at things in a totally different way and come up with solutions one could only imagine.

At the end of the day, the important thing an entrepreneur has to think about is the strategy for the business. Startup a business like what others normally do and one would probably achieve normal results, ie mediocre profits if at all. If one’s ambition is to be really successful, then it is necessary to think outside one’s comfort zone. If you are a chef, you have to think of industrial engineering and logistics.