Whether you run a hotel, restaurant, pub or catering business (or indeed, all four), the pandemic is likely to have hit you hard, or at the very least, forced you to pivot and adapt. There are green shoots – hotel revenues per room are forecast to return to 100% by the end of 2022. So too for pubs and bars – with Lumina Intelligence forecasting a return to 99% of its 2019 market value. However, if you’re in hospitality, the name of the game for the future is to stay agile.
Plan your finances
Although the sector will see recovery throughout 2022, it’ll be the pace of that rebound that will cause issues. In the wake of the pandemic, we’re seeing near unprecedented rises in the cost of living. On one hand that means more staycations, so a likely win for the sector. On the other, customers may continue behaviours adopted during lockdown, such as working from home and subscription-based home cooking kits. Loans from Portman can be used to bridge cashflow issues during this period of uncertainty. It’s definitely worth speaking to Portman early to understand how and when to activate our facilities, should you need arise.
Invest in the staff you’ve got
All hospitality sectors are experiencing staffing shortages, so even if the customer demand is there, operators could face issues simply delivering their services. Competition for and retention of staff is critical to maintaining continuity and quality of delivery. Employee training is more important than ever. New and unskilled workers need to be trained fast and efficiently as possible, and across multiple roles as each business diversifies. Customer experience will be a key point of comparison between establishments, and staff will play a key role in delivering that. Portman can support your investment in your staff and their training.
Invest in technology
Technology can transform operations in both front and back of house. Adoption of cashless/contactless payment technology accelerated dramatically throughout the pandemic. Other systems can be utilised to help optimisation of staffing levels and costs. In back of house, technology can help businesses plan – and therefore buy – further in advance, to ensure best prices and a more secure supply line. All-in-one hospitality management solutions can integrate with your POS, online booking platform and other business systems, streamline your operational efficiency, automate business flows, boost profit margins and enhance customer experience.
Adopt a good CRM system to deepen your knowledge of your customer base and the type of guests you receive. That will help you to invest in the most appropriate facilities and services, so they will choose you, come back again in the future and recommend you to friends and family.
Be a natural choice for UK travellers
International markets could take longer to bounce back than expected. If that’s the case, it’s essential that you do what you can to attract domestic visitors. That could mean installing electric car charging points, or providing additional facilities for their dogs for example. Finance support from Portman can help you refine your proposition.
Invest in your communications
As businesses recover, we are all getting used to periodic limitations on services and availability. For the hospitality and hotels sector, this might mean reduced opening hours and suspension of some facilities. These actions may be unavoidable and customers will understand that… as long as they are kept informed and updated. Investing in the right apps could help you make better use of limited staff while also improving customer service and maintaining reputation.
Hire purchase usually involves paying the VAT and a deposit up-front. Fixed monthly repayments are then made, affected by whether you pay off the entire loan over the term or chose a final balloon payment. The final option to purchase is guaranteed for a nominal fee, transferring ownership of the asset to the customer.
Hire purchase is well-suited for situations where a company definitely wants to own the item at the end of the term, often where the asset has a significant usable lifespan, a high residual value and will not need to be upgraded.Explore Hire Purchase
Equipment leasing allows a business to acquire hard or soft assets without the upfront costs associated with large purchases. A lender purchases the item, the business then leases it through fixed monthly payments over an agreed term.
Typically, asset finance is provided for high value ‘hard’ assets such as machinery, equipment, or vehicles, but Portman also arranges asset finance for ‘soft’ assets such as IT, fitness, catering, or vending equipment, as well as premises fit-outs, furniture or even air-conditioning.Explore Lease Finance
Business loans are a way of borrowing money, which is repaid in monthly instalments, including interest, over an agreed term. Business loans are a common way to help smooth out cashflow fluctuations and take opportunities where otherwise they could be missed due to a lack of working capital.
Business loans can be secured or unsecured. Portman typically provides unsecured loans which can be more flexible and do not require collateral but are likely to require a personal guarantee. Secured loans are tied to an asset which the lender can claim ownership of if repayments are not made, these may be used in equipment refinance deals.Explore Business Loans
New businesses often need an injection of finance to get them off the ground. Asset finance for new businesses allows you to focus on running your company and bringing in customers, confident that you have the equipment, vehicle or stock you need without the large initial outlay.
Using finance for your equipment means that you preserve the credit card or overdraft for contingency and operating expenses when the unexpected happens.Explore Start Up Loans
If you recently bought a high-value item outright but would now prefer to have financed it, we can help with a sale-and-lease-back agreement. If the item is less than 3m old, give us a copy of the invoice and we will calculate the current value. After a few checks and acceptance of the term and monthly repayments, we can give you the cash equivalent of the invoice to put back into the business. You’ll then make fixed monthly payments including interest, whilst your asset earns you money.
If your business owns high value assets that are not currently on finance, subject to a valuation, it is also possible to use them as security for a loan, with lenders offering a cash loan up to a % of the asset’s value.Explore Refinance
With no personal guarantee up to £250k, Recovery Loans offer an excellent way of making sure your business gets back on its feet after the effects of the pandemic. Many businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and its restrictions can access the UK government’s Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), providing UK SMEs with better access to finance.
Recovery Loans can be used for any legitimate business or simply provide cashflow. Up to £350k can be borrowed on terms from 2 to 6 years and with no personal guarantee up to £250k, your personal wealth is not at risk.Explore Recovery Loans
Having the opportunity to offer a lease option on a commercial fit out which covers the partitioning, carpets, and furniture – all of the items you would think you couldn’t lease- is fantastic. It means that our clients can keep the same specification, rather than having to cut down and restrict elements of the project. As a contractor, it also means we can get a deposit up front, which secures our labour and materials.
I gave George at Portman a ring, he was really helpful and laid out all the options. We ended up spreading the payments over three years- it is a very simple, straightforward agreement and the decision was back in 24 hours. The whole Portman experience has been fantastic.
From the first call, they were very friendly and very helpful – our Account Manager guided us along the way for our first finance agreement and we’ve never had a problem since. We used them again for the new press six years down the line.
Portman enabled us to spread the cost of purchasing the equipment for our trampoline park, which meant we could use extra marketing channels and launch the business the way we wanted to. If we hadn’t been able to spread the cost of our initial fit out, we probably wouldn’t be in the position we are today.
My Account Manager, Jordan has helped me out from the top to the bottom and I really appreciate what he has done for me. He’s made it a smooth journey for me and was great at keeping me up to date over the phone and would even respond to emails out of hours which I really appreciated.
With the support from Portman, Georgia opened her stunning restaurant in Chelsea, London and has since received a considerable amount of success, receiving glowing reviews about the food, beautiful location and her hard working team.
Lamen needed the finance to secure his dreams. Lamen was assigned one of our dedicated Account Managers, making his process as simple and easy as possible. Portman were able to provide the finance to lease all his Kitchen Equipment so he could stay ahead in the competitive market.