The Impacts of COVID-19 on Hospitality

The Impacts of COVID-19 on Hospitality

The present pandemic has created a very challenging time for both individuals and companies. Everywhere, people are putting measures in place to contain the spread and ensure the saving of lives. To be honest, trusting God and putting measures in place is the best you can do to better the situation. Wisdom requires that you do not take anything for granted anymore but are more adherent to the strict rules of personal hygiene. These are the things that will keep all of us safe. I was thinking about the industry within which I find myself and how much responsibility we have within this period. This period is one of the most crucial times for hospitality and service industries because they major on the overall well-being of the individual. Yet this has also proven to be one of the most trying times for these companies. I read on Instagram the other day (and I quote) ‘If you would like to know how it feels to be in hospitality during this Corona pandemic, remember when the Titanic was sinking and the band continued to play? … Well, we’re the band.’

Many food and beverage industries are being hit hard by the virus and as such business owners within the industry have had to take difficult decisions within this period. It seems like shutting down is the most logical and responsible thing to do but for workers in the business, we understand the effects of such decisions on our staff, our clients and the overall sustainability of the business. How do we practice social distancing in a business that largely encourages socializing? These are the concerns of business owners within the industry as we thrive in this very challenging time. As rumors of lock down lurk around, we are left with one thing – hope. Hope for the improvement of the situation so that we can live normal lives again. I want to use this opportunity to applaud all the hospitality and service businesses who have had to make hard decisions within this period. Some businesses are closing, others are laying off staff (many of whom are totally dependent on single incomes). At the end of the day, many business owners have to do what works for them without compromising the safety of staff and clients. Some may not yet shut down (until legislation demands) but are dedicated to hygienic practices for both staff and dear clients. And even with this, there is a lot of uncertainty as every day we are being hit with news of the spread. So again, these are hard and major decisions.

If you would like to know how it feels to be in hospitality during this Corona pandemic, remember when the Titanic was sinking and the band continued to play? … Well, we’re the band.

For many restaurants there is not really any reserve cash to rely on if they decide to shut down, because each day comes with its own expenses (sometimes unplanned). I love the fact that many are shutting down their dine-in options are relying on take-aways and deliveries. That works well and I’ll advise that delivery companies also play their part by observing protocol such as wearing hand gloves and nose masks, using sanitizers and dropping off food one meter away from clients’ doorposts. How about the rest of us, who patronize the services of these businesses. How can we help in our own way? If you are visiting a restaurant which is still open to dine-in;

  1. Do not be offended if you are asked to hold on at the door for a squirt of sanitizer.
  2. Please comply with their hygienic policies. Some hostesses are teaching people how to properly wash hands or apply sanitizers. Let us go with the flow. It is indeed about all of us.
  3. Please tip your waiter extra if you can. Now this is not a major concern but it is an awesome way to support people who live paycheck to paycheck.
  4. You also have the option to opt for take-away if you feel uncomfortable dining in.
  5. Be encouraging. Thank the staff, let them know how they can help. Smile at the CEO and let him/her know that they are doing a good job. Please do not make sarcastic jokes about the virus. Again, be encouraging.
  6. Offer solutions as much as you can. You see, the thing is that we have all not done this before. Everything is new and most businesses will probably not get things right, but you can be of great help by offering practical solutions and alternatives. Again, it is about all of us.

As a hospitality worker, I can only say I see, I understand and I know that this is a hard time for all of us. Whatever phase of decision making we find ourselves, may we never lose hope of things getting better. May our faith be stronger than our fears and may we continue taking care of the people we love- those who come through our doors every day and make our businesses thrive. And to the people we love, please do not doubt that we are here because of you and we genuinely love you. Otherwise, we will not be in this business. Until all this is over (because we believe), let us keep one another in our thoughts and do what seems like the right thing to do now – hope.

Love and virtual hugs,

Abi.

 

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