We are looking to China for some inspiration as they are running a good couple of months ahead of us from a pandemic timeline perspective. Nat is from London, but has been living in Shanghai for a number of years and runs Homeslice Pizza across 3 local outlets. He was therefore very well place to discuss the operational aspects of coming out of the other other side of lockdown in the hospitality sector.
I found Nat’s descriptions of the challenges of acquiring PPE in china fascinating, in part due to the timing of the crisis around Chinese New Year and everyone being on holiday and factories shut. I guess if it was hard to get hold of equipment in China, it is no surprise that the international community was also struggling.
We also touch on how technology was used to help release lockdown, such as a compulsory app on everyones phone that showed either a green or red qr code that had to be scanned to enter a venue. Getting a green code depended on where you had been, who you had been with and your temperature.
Nat’s insight into why china has been so good at managing the virus with it’s very big to very small approach to government was fascinating, but you really need to listen to his explanation to get the gist of that one.
We also touch on how long it’s taking for any semblance of normality to return to visitor numbers, even 8 weeks since lockdown release, and some interesting comparative KPI’s around employee %, rental charges and VAT, which has been reduced from only 6% to nothing by the Chinese government to help stimulate the economy.
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