Updated: Apr 15
Ramadan is a holy month that Muslims do celebrate every year by fasting, from dawn to dusk we stop the consumption of food and water which may sound a very bad news for the food and hospitality industry but this is not the case.
In Ramadan the consumption of food raises, which in way is related to the cultural values which impact how this month is being celebrated.
Despite the fact that fasting should lower the consumption of the food, it’s not the case.
During Ramadan consumer behavior regarding spending does increase on food & beverage, and in respond to this increasing demand food retailers start stocking up products months ahead, hypermarkets and brands offer promotions and offers.
And food consumption after Iftar exceeds the usual consumption in the regular days as almost everyone changes their food consumption habits.
According to a study by the Cairo chamber of commerce during Ramadan of 2017 families food spending was 1.5 billion a day.
And it’s not just the sales volume of expected seasonal related to Ramadan goods as dried fruits, dates, nuts and dairy products but all kinds of food, beverage and grocery products are affected by Ramadan’s consumption.
Hospitality also experience an increase in sales during Ramadan, as people tend to go out to eat Iftar outside or after Iftar to socialize and eat suhoor.
And with an adaptation to operations hospitality do benefit very well from Ramadan
During the pandemic there was some changes to the consumer behavior during Ramadan, whether this change was forced or an adaptation it obviously affected Retailers and hospitality Even seasonal Ramadan desserts sales were affected by 40% according to Chamber of food industries, and since we’re experiencing another holy month with the pandemic still occurring both industries should be well prepared.
But the question is how?
When it comes to hospitality Restaurants and cafes during Ramadan need to be prepared to face the worst case scenario which is lockdown, in the case of lockdown there should be elasticity regarding how the services are being provided and instead of serving food directly to customers indoors, melas need to be delivered while the indoors dining experience should also be delivered so restaurants and cafes managers need to adapt and come up with ideas on how to compete with the already delivering services and give it another layer which is delivering the experience which should be customized based on each restaurant or cafe concept.
The mission is much more easier for retailers they can easily operate in certain hours if the lockdown is partial, or they can easily deliver if the lockdown Was all day long.
The only challenge facing retailers and brands is the yearly Ramadan promotions that they do provide indoor which also could be easily shifted towards digital platforms which has proven to be efficient and effective in almost all situations.
Not so long back ago in 2015 during Ramadan Coca Cola decided to spent all its Advertisement budget on digital platforms and neglected the norm of using TV ads, and it proved to be more than effective.
In the case of no lockdown there’s still difficulty and social responsibility, which is maintaining the same service quality while maintaining safety precautions.
Practicing social distancing inside retail stores is very important and even though it’s hard to control all people’s actions but retailers could manage crowding inside, and such actions will boost people trust which will impact sales positively.
The same goes for restaurants which can more easily practice social distancing and adapt its operations to comply with it.
Also lowering hands interactions is a very important procedure, so if clients can easily select menu items, pay etc.. with a less hands interactions as possible that will be of a very good impact.
In conclusion Ramadan does have a very good economical impact on many sectors, especially Retails and hospitality.
During the pandemic almost all decision makers didn’t know how exactly to prepare or act, but now in 2021 with a year into the current events we should be well prepared for Ramadan this year and be able to maintain profitability and keep health concerns at minimum with safety precautions.