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Measures to reduce the impact of coronavirus at your restaurant

Coronavirus is here to stay and it will end up affecting all of us, just as the flu does. For some restaurants with a weak financial muscle, coronavirus could mean the closure of their business.

Many companies have sent their employees home as a preventive measure and to help contain the spread. That means a lower footfall and less people meeting for dinner and drinks after work. The Restaurant Association of Ireland said that its members are experiencing 80% corporate booking cancellations duet to Covid-19.

Some tips to reduce the impact of the possible effects of the coronavirus:

–        Keep stock levels low

–        Try to prep only for the day

–        Try not to give holidays at the moment, so you can give them if things get nasty

–        Keep staff levels low

–        Keep the finger on the pulse of the rotas and adapt accordingly

–        Try to design menu in your favour, ie. simplify your menu and your operations

–        Hold your horses, keep cost as low as you can

However, I want to finish on a positive note about coronavirus as I don’t think we should panic. We know what it is and how to detect it, most cases are mild and most people heal completely. In China, where it started, the situation is improving. The virus is easily inactivated, there are hundreds of scientific articles and clinical trials already and prototypes of vaccines.

So keep following health and safety measures and we’ll get over it!

 

** Update: Budget 2020 was published yesterday and included measures to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus outbreak. In my opinion, this will give a bit of peace of mind to many restaurant owners. See below some of the measures that will have a bigger impact in the hospitality industry:

  • Statutory sick pay for “all those who are advised to self-isolate” even if they have not displayed symptoms
  • Business rates for shops, cinemas, restaurants and music venues in England with a rateable value below £51,000 suspended for a year
  • A “temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme” for banks to offer loans of up to £1.2m to support small and medium-sized businesses
  • The government will meet costs for businesses with fewer than 250 employees of providing statutory sick pay to those off work because of coronavirus
  • Plans to make it quicker and easier to get benefits for those on zero hours contracts

 

Info taken from BBC article “Budget 2020: Chancellor pumps billions into economy to combat coronavirus” . See full article here

 

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