The Alchemist bar and restaurant (Bevis Marks, London)

Post-pandemic measures to send restaurants into “tailspin”

The warnings come after a survey issued by 260 restaurants and bar operators was published by restaurant guide Square Meal.

Three quarters of restaurants in the UK have warned that their businesses may not survive with social distancing measures in place.

Operators including café chain Paul as well as JKS have suggested that new measures designed to enforce social distancing could pose an “existential threat” to their businesses, according to the Financial Times.

Other operators said they would have to make staff redundant unless the government’s furlough scheme was extended.

The warnings come after a survey issued by 260 restaurants and bar operators was published by restaurant guide Square Meal.

Over a quarter of people surveyed said it would be “impossible” to implement social distancing measures, as 48% said they expected to make staff redundancies in the next month.

Tobias Jackson, operations director of Adventure Bar, told The Financial Times: “Keeping people one metre apart at entrances and exits and toilet areas is impossible. We would reduce capacity by around 60% to 70%.”

He said: “This would result in making 50% to 60% of my staff unemployed.”

Jo Eames, director of pub operator Peach Pubs, added: “It’s catastrophic. Margins are so tight and costs so high in hospitality that no business can operate for long with much less than 90% full turnover.

“Trying to operate at 50% or less will send almost every business into a tailspin of increasing losses.”

A number of other operators said that the constant sanitation required, such as cleaning surfaces and tableware, and staff hand washing, would “diminish the atmosphere” and increase overhead costs…

… visit The Caterer to read full story

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