Coronavirus – Possible impacts on the Catering Industry
Coronavirus has thrown a whole lot of plans for a whole lot of people askew. Not least those in the catering industry.
At the time of writing (13th March 2020) the government have not put the country into full lockdown, which is a good thing for those in the catering trade. However, this could change at any time. Additionally, despite the current status, many people in the trade are worried about prevention of the disease and ongoing trading. The current risk level is ‘High’.
Social distancing measures are recommended and it is prudent therefore for restaurants and cafes to limit the number of customers they have on the premises at any one time. This of course impacts on the covers per day which in turn impacts on income.
People are out and about less, with more people working from home or self isolating. As the pandemic continues this downturn in business is likely to continue or even get worse. Keep in touch with your Chamber of Commerce or similar organisations to see what measures there are locally to help. The budget was amended by the government to assist small businesses. Cash flow issues should be flagged up and managed early.
Whilst this can be good news for those with catering vans and trailers who already serve their customers in the open. For the majority of catering businesses this is problematic, but at the moment can be overcome. By limiting the number of customers inside and step up the cleaning and hand washing. It is more important than ever for servers to be diligent about washing their hands and cleaning down between customers. Also let customers know that you are using Coronavirus busting cleaning products diligently on all surfaces, especially the doors and toilet areas. Recommend they keep to the social distance recommended and ensure staff observe that as far as possible.
The biggest impact is likely to be the downturn in income and this is something that industry leaders are bound to respond to in the coming weeks.
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