In the turbulent times we are in with the onset of Covid 19 and the rapid progression of this virus it is time to relook at the way we operate our hospitality businesses.
With the increase measures that the UK Government has put in place with regards to social distancing and with their announcement on Monday of ‘to avoid pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs’, our industry has never been hit so hard.
When faced with adversity we will find ways around this. There are two ways we can look at this, first of all is to carry on as best we can in these difficult circumstances, and in doing so these are the precautionary measures to have in place:
- Take heed of Government advice and wash your hands and use sanitiser gel regularly– encourage your guests to do likewise
- Avoid personal contact such as shaking hands, a nod and a smile can be just as welcoming
- Sanitise equipment, fixtures and fittings which are touched by different people on a frequent basis, such as computer keyboards, light switches, door handles, lift buttons
- Share with your guests the precautionary measures you are taking so they know you are looking out for them
- Only have essential staff working, and if business is slowing down, get your staff to take their annual leave now
- Relook at the operating hours of your outlets and reduce these
- Limit the areas where there is a heavy flow of people traffic. Think about how you are allocating rooms and block areas off that are not being used
- Use this quieter time to move refurbishment and maintenance projects forward
- Only have essential meetings, and where possible hold these online
- Communicate using messaging apps such as Whats App rather than face to face
These measures will not work for all businesses, particularly smaller businesses which is when you need to relook at your business model. Below are some examples of how this is happening:
- Best Western are looking to turn their hotels in to temporary hospitals to help the NHS
- The Millenium Hotel in Chelsea has opened its hotel for NHS staff to use free of charge
- Restaurants are focusing on their take away and delivery business
- In Bristol, The Cauldron has turned in to a ‘dispensary’ and are selling cold meals which can be reheated at home and making fresh bread and pasta. They are selling their stock and have 400 toilet rolls for sale.
- In London, The Brigade Bar and Kitchen are offering freshly cooked meals to the vulnerable and disadvantage and those affected by Covid 19
This is a time when we need to all work together and stay strong. Many of us will be in financial hardship over the coming months. Social distancing measures and self isolation will also affect our mental health. Hospitality Action have set up an emergency Covid 19 fund but we need your help to contribute to this, so please do donate through their website.
Stay safe, keep washing your hands and let’s ride through this. If you need any assistance, even it if it is just for a chat, please feel free to contact me.