12 Jun MFT chief urges F&B leaders to mull business strategies amid COVID-19 pandemic
Three months into community quarantine, MFT Group of Companies CEO Mica Tan advised food and beverage (F&B) leaders to recalibrate their strategic priorities as the sector is expected to see laggard recovery until the end of the year.
In a remote interview with BusinessWorld’s Jester Delos Santos on June 12, Tan advised F&B players to identify key problems that need urgent solutions and embrace a smart decision to revisit business plans.
“Now is the perfect time to revisit the business fundamentals of each restaurant or each F&B business. Study the supply chains and be forced to find a solution to prepare for when everybody can somehow go out and eat again,” explained Tan.
For its F&B businesses, Mimi & Bros incorporated an initiative embracing the challenge to feed at least 10,000 frontline workers from select hospitals around Metro Manila who are leading the fight against COVID-19. Its healthy food concept Salad Stop in Vietnam and Spain have also set its financial and non-financial target through mindful sourcing and measuring of carbon footprint by 2021.
Tan said these strategies for sustainable development appeal to millennials, which is expected to shore up the recovery of F&B businesses. “Millennials love food the most. Experiences are currency. Now is about the F&B industry to dream that experience to the customers.”
With more than 2,000 establishments shutting down and almost 70,000 employees losing their jobs as reported by the labor department, MFT is surviving the economic storm by also putting its employees on top of the agenda and developing a trust-based culture that extends through its partners. The strategy is harnessed not only by its F&B businesses, but also by its healthcare arm.
“Synergies need to be identified from partners, suppliers and even neighboring competition,” she said. “Passion, purpose, contribution is what’s going to drive business decisions, so regardless of industry, it all depends on how we can recalibrate the different business fundamentals that we need.”
MFT prioritized upskilling its employees to develop cross-functional skills to allow them to cover for one another, as well as regularly communicating with them to acclimatize to the ‘new normal.’
MFT’s healthcare arm, Mondial Medical Technologies, is even extending opportunities to its employees and other people to earn a livelihood by selling their products. It also offered end-to-end solutions to hospital clients by educating them on hospital supply chains, demand forecasting, and group buying.
All these form part of the company’s COVID framework, which guides its businesses throughout this pandemic: Crisis, which revealed their ability and willingness to help one another by actively participating in bayanihan opportunities; Operating practices, which is of paramount importance for businesses to improve on; Victory, which can be attained by breaking silos and improving workplace culture; Internally recalibrating mindsets and preparing team for new work arrangement; and Developing systems and discipline to solve supply chain problems.