The Impact of COVID-19 on restaurants…
On Friday 20th March, due to the outbreak of COVID19, all restaurants in the UK were forced to close. This has had a devastating impact on the industry, for both employers and their employees. Although the public were initially, just advised to stay away from such venues to reduce the spread of the virus, the decline in clientele was instant, with overwhelming consequences. With so much uncertainty, financial penalties for everyone has been seen across the board.
Some may never open doors again
Sales of restaurants fell, doors closed to customers until further notice and some workers finding themselves unemployed with immediate effect. With everything happening in such a short timescale, few had preparations in place to keep their businesses afloat. Some have sadly been unable to continue and will never open their doors again, whilst others are on the brink of collapse.
Growth of Takeaway Businesses
Takeaway businesses have been able to continue as normal (the new normal). Though customers have not been allowed into restaurants due to social distancing, many outlets have been doing takeaways to keep their companies up and running. There could be high demand for takeaway businesses for years to come. If your restaurant is operating a takeaway & delivery, check out the Government guidance.
Furlough & then Unemployment
Even though the UK government has supported hospitality businesses as much as they could, but the question is for how long? Businesses with high fixed cost, especially higher rent are in real danger. This has inevitably meant the demise of waiters and bar staff. Some may have been furloughed with the knowledge that hopefully, their jobs will still be there when all this is over. But for others, this could mean the end of the line, never to set foot on the premises again.
New Health & Safety Regulations
For those remaining open for business, health and safety is paramount and businesses have been adapting to ensure all new social distancing rules and regulations are adhered to. Orders taken by phone or on-line. No customers permitted on the premises, and pick-up only when the order is ready. If you are planning to open soon, please check Government guidelines (SEE GUIDELINES HERE) are updated every few weeks and must be followed in order to help bring this disease under control.
The New Normal (at least for some time)
We all realise, that the longer these restrictions are in place the bigger the financial losses will be for everyone involved. We will have to accept that social distancing will need to continue for some time to come, and businesses are sensibly starting to put adaptations in place, ready to resume trade as normal (the new normal).
Tables to be set at an agreeable distance from each other, protective screens put in place and waitress service only are seen as being the safest solutions. And, if that is what it takes to get the restaurant industry back in business, then together we can do this and be optimistic that one day soon, restaurants will flourish and once again become the hub of social interaction.