So, the hospitality industry has been up and running (kind of) since Lockdown was lifted, for a couple of months now. Doors were flung open, staff unfurloughed, orders placed with wholesalers and everyone was keen to return to some kind of normal.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme was introduced by the Government, and the general public flooded back in their droves to their favourite establishments. They spent their money and enjoyed the food and drinks. Undoubtedly, this has helped our beloved industry get back on its feet, so for that we are grateful.
Staff are being hired too. We have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of jobs coming through us. During Lockdown, any kind of recovery to our devasted industry, looked like it might take until the festive season to return to anything approaching what we’d all been used to. But, the EOTHO scheme certainly gave us a kickstart that was so desperately required.
And then… the virus made a comeback.
The R-rate is climbing once more. Now we’re not in the business of apportioning blame as it is not our area of expertise, but the numbers do not lie. The Rule of Six has been put in place by the Government which means table numbers are limited in restaurants and table service has resumed even in pubs.
Everyone is having to check-in at venues and scanning QR codes (who thought they’d ever be useful?) and learning how useful a smartphone can actually be. The NHS Track & Trace app has been downloaded more times than Facebook has and we’re all operating under some very strict guidelines.
Now, we all know how resilient this industry is. The hours are long, the financial rewards are low and yet we love it! It’s an industry full of amazing people who WILL make it work. It’s like a drug, once you work in hospitality, you get hooked in and you keep coming back for more.
So, what does the future hold? Oh, if only we had a giant crystal ball…! No one really knows, as we’ve never worked under these conditions before. But, if there is one thing we know for sure, and it’s that we’ll all fight until the bitter end.
Some will fail, some will thrive, but all will try. If you can help, you must. Eat out when you can. Book a stay in a local hotel. Visit a local attraction and spend what you can afford, all whilst sticking to the strict Government guidelines.
We’re under pressure too, staff have been furloughed but we’re soldiering on. If we can help, please ask. And if you can help us, please do. Together, we’ll get through this. Keep communicating, keep talking and keep helping. GOOD LUCK x