Oldham business coach offers tips to help keep eateries afloat

Date published: 28 May 2021

A leading local business Svengali who has mentored everyone from international companies to Coronation Street actors has created his own menu of changes he believes Indian restaurants need to digest as they come out of lockdown.

From their first taste of subcontinent food over 350 years ago when they ruled India, Brits have had a love affair with curry.

But commerce coach Muzahid Khan believes the industry serving it is now in its biggest pickle – unless it can adapt and change, fast.

Said Muzahid: “Make no mistake, lockdown will change the face of the British high street forever.

"Already gone are retailers who relied entirely on footfall, including several Indian eateries going back to the 1950s.

"That is going to have a huge impact on our community and economy.

"But hope lies in the spirit displayed by younger entrepreneurs who have embraced change and moved away from simply the family-run hard work of their forebears – which sadly may not be enough in the current climate.”

Muzahid’s nuggets of wisdom are wide-ranging and include:

· Diversifying into digital marketing and not simply relying on reputation and word-of-mouth

· Looking again at your offer.

The high street now compromises many chains (especially coffee, take away food and small supermarkets).

A unique product created with love will prove a winner with your customers

· Embrace track and trace but make sure it is not invasive.

Greet customers with social distancing information to make them feel safe but don’t be overbearing and ensure they know that any information gleaned is being used correctly

· Make every effort to promote vaccination for your employees.

Muzahid believes bosses should give staff the encouragement and time and space to get inoculated.

Whilst many restaurants have ploughed more resource into takeaways – with as much as 80% of their businesses now done that way – some have even been forced into changing their product, completely.

Muzahid added: “It may be the toughest choice of all to move into a different field, especially if it is a family company.

"But running a restaurant business means your contact book is probably bursting and your good name respected.

"I recently met with a company who changed from running restaurants to steam cleaning them.

"The fact that they did so with non-alcoholic gel appealed directly to Muslim businesses - and now they are thriving.

"Now is the perfect time for business innovation."

Muzahid Khan offers direct support to small and medium-sized businesses through pathfinder hub.

Learn more about them by visiting: www.pathfinderhub.org and www.janalaventura.com

Muz is also a prolific fundraiser for local charities and the author of the book, “The Gift of Giving”.

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