By Attilio Sergi, Food Tech Entrepreneur, Restaurateur, Founder 51 Trattoria, Local Food Champion and Industry Consultant
Earlier this year the Government announced that it was to drop plans for the mandatory requirement for customers to show a Covid Certificate to enter hospitality venues.
This was a relief to the already stretched hospitality sector.
Unfortunately, according to the Vaccines Minister, it now appears that Covid passports will be required for those wanting to attend nightclubs or crowded indoor spaces from the end of September; but is this just the first step?
Fortunately, at the moment, we are told this restriction does not apply to the Pub and Restaurant Industry, but we are all aware how quickly the situation can change, and tighter rules may have to be implemented.
You may ask how this can affect me and my restaurant businesses? But unfortunately, it does.
The hospitality sector is already feeling the pinch and with this announcement more uncertainty and apprehension will enter the mind of the already uncomfortable general public.
Thoughts about safety will enter the mind of many customers, those who were already worried or nervous about dining out will become even more apprehensive and may take the safe option and stay in.
The margins in the food and beverage industry are not huge and increases in staffing and food have already hit it hard, so simply it cannot afford to lose any more of its customer base.
Along with the psychological impact you can add behavioural changes in customer dining like home food kits and ordering in.
I strongly believe over the coming quarter many restaurants and pubs will struggle to stay competitive and some will not be able to remain solvent. Quite frankly the sector is on its knees, it needs Government support, not additional regulation which causes customer unease and anxiety; and it needs it now.
What are your thoughts? I personally would like to hear them……