The coronavirus pandemic is creating challenges in every industry but few are facing as many problems as the restaurant industry. Obviously, lockdowns and Government restrictions over the last 12 months have been devastating and many restaurants will have closed their doors for good, but those that have managed to weather the storm are facing many serious challenges and will continue to do so even as restrictions lift.
One of the major challenges for restaurants right now is sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE). Restaurants have managed to remain somewhat open through the use of takeaways, collections and a brief period in the summer where they could welcome customers, but the wide demand across the country for PPE has created a shortage in the supply chain which is problematic for restaurants trying to abide by health and safety regulations. The key is to minimise use across the industry so it is only being used for those that need it and to adopt good working practices.
Food Delivery & Takeaway
Following this, restaurants have also had to adapt very quickly to provide food delivery and takeaway in order to survive. Clearly, this creates a whole host of new issues for restaurants that may not have offered this before, such as transportation, app development, labelling meals with allergen information, containers and collection processes just to name a few. Essentially, this is an entirely new business model which means that restaurants need to arrange a fast food insurance policy so that they are protected against various new potential threats with this type of operation.
Hygiene has always been important in this industry but has taken on an entirely new level of importance during the pandemic. Providing hand-washing stations and making sure that employees and drivers are regularly washing their hands is one challenge, but it is also important social distancing is maintained at all times so changes to the kitchen and restaurant layout have also created challenges.
Following this, there are also food safety challenges that restaurants are facing right now with many having to update their food safety management systems and procedures. This might include using delivery bags that are able to provide sufficient insulation to keep the food at the required temperature so that it is safe to eat. They also need to have the correct suppliers of high quality products such as extra virgin olive oil, so they can keep the quality of their food high.
These are just a few of the key challenges that restaurants are currently facing. The pandemic has hit this industry hard with businesses having to make huge adaptations to stay afloat which creates many new challenges, but many have shown entrepreneurial spirit and will put themselves in a good position to succeed once restrictions begin to ease and it is likely that restaurants will be busy with people desperate to enjoy a good meal out.