13 May 2020 by Charles Manners
The impact of the coronavirus has affected all sectors of our industry, bringing a great deal of uncertainty as to what form the "new normal" will take. As we remain for the present in now partial lockdown, our energies are devoted as to what possible solutions are available when lockdown restrictions are relaxed and ultimately removed and are in contact with both our clients and caterers. An emerging picture is appearing.
It is very unlikely that coronavirus is transmitted through food and the new guidance is that workplace canteens feeding may remain open where there are no practical alternatives for staff to obtain food.
However this leaves restaurants, venues, cafes and bars with a challenge to create an enjoyable and relaxing experience whilst adhering to the new measures. We will see a phased opening of operations which will be based on location, capabilities and design;
- Specifically design from arrival to atmosphere, the in and out will have to be thought through; possible options include screens and layouts, pop ups and outdoor spaces
- Thinking through the tight spaces e.g. kitchens, payment, toilets e.g. installing automatic soap and tap dispensers
- Communication to staff and customers, be clear and communicate hygiene
- Pre-booking, table service and using technology which will play an increasing part in our industry
- Preparation (menu length) and display of food will need to be reviewed / changed
As the Government, and businesses begin to think about re-mobilisation and with the Furlough scheme being extended which is a lifeline for the industry but confidence and trust will take time to re-establish. Happy to discuss further and to share our experience.