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Q&A with Iconic Wines on emerging from lockdown

The hospitality industry have been one of the hardest hit by lockdown. We speak to Managing Director of Iconic Wines, Paul Beavis, on what he's learnt and how his business has adapted in these trying times.

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Based in London, Iconic Wines are a passionate team of wine lovers serving up the most iconic wines and they are a partner we work closely with here at The Runnymede on Thames. They work with many other hospitality businesses, each of whom have been affected by lockdown. Paul Beavis, Managing Director, shares with us his tips for keeping positive and moving forward in the new normal.

Are there ways in which you’ve pivoted the business in response to what’s been going on?

Our entire business model has changed to accommodate less visitors and ensure social distancing is strictly adhered to. One of the main ways has been the introduction of specific time slotted appointments for tastings.

What have you noticed in terms of your customers’ behaviour?

A greater sense of self care especially with hygiene and generally customers are more accommodating around waiting times.

What has been your approach with your employees, both practically and pastorally?

We have held a lot more “town hall” calls with the team, ensuring they are fully aware of all measures in place for their safety and that of our guests.

What advice would you give to businesses who are struggling right now?

To remain calm! The stress generated by this situation will pass and remember you are not alone in this journey. In addition, I advise people to ensure they are very open with communication; lockdown can and will cause more stress and anxiety, so make sure you talk to your clients more than usual.

On a personal level, what has the crisis taught you?

Resilience and to make the most of the time we have and maximize each day. Also, this is the new normal and I believe that the sooner we see it as that, the better for everyone.

Are there any positives you see coming from all of this?

Appreciation of basic values and of things we need in order to feel good. In terms of business, better conversations, more transparency and direct communication for the benefit of customers and the work force.

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