How is COVID affecting the restaurants?

How is COVID affecting the restaurants?

Since March 2020, we have been living through a more or less strict worldwide confinement due to the already known global COVID19 pandemic, and one of the most affected sectors has been the hospitality industry.

Many restaurants, hotels, bars and cafés have had to close their doors due to the impossibility of keeping up with the expenses involved in maintaining a space intended for the comfort of visitors. Some of the owners of these establishments are afraid that many of them may disappear, due to the little or no turnover that is perceived.

Some restrictive models of social relations have been implemented that limit contact, and this new reality greatly affects this business model, as their daily activity is linked to contact and socialisation, and within this pandemic they had to modify all or part of their activity to offer quality and service with the lowest risk of contagion.

How is COVID affecting restaurants, bars and cafés?

Restaurants, bars and cafés are an important part of the hospitality sector. This sector has been able to recover some of its previous income or has been able to cover its costs thanks to delivery, as they can continue to offer their products or services, albeit perhaps on a smaller scale. Even so, the impact is still great, as their premises remain empty, so many of them have had to take advantage of the famous ERTES in order not to close down their businesses. ERTES help, but they are a temporary stopgap, as they will not last indefinitely and cover costs such as staffing, but if we have rented premises, for example, we will have to continue paying monthly fees without receiving any income.

Some found a way to adapt to survive with the presence of fewer workers or fewer diners, due to the capacity restrictions imposed, but always betting on maintaining quality. The social networks also play an important role, as through them we can make our business known and offer personalised services such as home delivery.

Accommodation and COVID 19

In the case of hotels and hostels, they had to reinvent themselves by making use of their spaces to present live music or perhaps some artistic exhibition, but the truth is that part of these businesses had to resort to the digital experience.

Many are the hotels that only allow bookings through websites, where they give virtual keys. If they have open spaces or gardens, they have increased outdoor activities, with an emphasis on hygiene and social distancing.

As for hotels in urban areas, the situation is more complicated and most of them have had to resort to the famous ERTES in order to stay in pause and not have to close down.

General rules in the hospitality industry to cope with contagion

As this is the sector of the economy where most interaction and contact is required, hoteliers have decided to increase security measures in order to continue operating in this new normality. Extreme hygiene and cleanliness, keeping a distance and wearing masks, have been the general measures adopted by hotel and restaurant chains. In addition to minimising the maximum capacity of the spaces, i.e. reducing the number of employees and customers inside the establishments.

Others have decided to modify the organisation of furniture and fixtures so that guests or diners have less contact with surfaces. Alcohol gels and digital thermometers accompany and form part of the furnishings in these establishments, giving the customer the assurance that during their stay the risk of contracting COVID is minimal, just as the delivery service remains the first choice.

Staff organisation and information measures

While it is true that customers are an important part of the life of these establishments, so are the staff in charge. Due to the confinement, many have been laid off from their workplaces, so the work that may have been done by that person has to be divided among several people. That is why among the measures adopted to continue operating with COVID lurking, have been the disinfection of shared work spaces, as well as providing individual protection equipment and the use of masks at all times.

Signs have been put up reminding people to wash their hands frequently and reiterating the measures for washing uniforms or items used during the working day. In the case of suppliers and customers, they must be informed of all the measures taken to continue the operation, as well as the placement of posters and signs to help maintain these regulations.

Some restaurants and cafés have decided to eliminate common utensils: such as napkin holders, sugar bowls and salt shakers; others offer their menus digitally to minimise contact between diners and waiters.

Digitising our menu is a great step forward, but we can take other steps to bring technology closer to our restaurant. On this website, for example, you can find the help you are looking for to digitise your hospitality business, which will help you both to fight against COVID and to make your restaurant, bar or café more efficient. You will reduce the number of errors that occur thanks to digitisation, you will be more efficient, which translates into significant financial savings and an increase in revenue for your hospitality business.

What's in store for the hospitality industry in 2021?

2020 was a year full of surprises and many ups and downs, but one that left us with a great lesson: nothing is certain. The majority of the premises in this sector have started to reactivate themselves by complying with the established rules; some by reinventing themselves and others by resorting to technology, networks and the internet.

This year there are no major changes in this area, as restrictions remain in place and in some countries quarantine is still in place in different versions. In many areas, the life of the hospitality industry depends on tourists, and this often becomes difficult if borders are closed. One could also target domestic tourism and its benefits; it is a market niche that is quite neglected in some cases and would be the salvation. The important thing is to understand that life must go on, but the only way to do so is to take care of ourselves and to abide by the rules established in each locale.

In many areas, technology-supported measures are being adopted, such as scanning a QR code at the entrance of businesses. The aim of this is to control access, as it is currently very necessary due to the existing capacity limitations in hospitality businesses.

Tourist life and the hospitality industry facing COVID19

As a tourist and during the reactivation of these venues, we may be faced with a series of rules and requirements that may be tedious or out of place for some, this is the time to use empathy. We all need to get back to our routines and jobs; in the case of visitors, to keep on giving life to what we love to do, and the only way is by abiding by all the established measures to enjoy the spaces.

Let's be aware that there are people behind all these structures who also have family members, who comply with all the general measures to continue in their jobs and who are there to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Find out about the sanitary measures before visiting any establishment, comply with them and make sure that those accompanying you also comply with them, so that the risk of contact with third parties, and therefore contagion, is minimal.

General and basic rules to avoid the spread of COVID19 in the hospitality sector

  • Frequently perform hand washing and hygiene, using alcohol or soap and water.
  • In case of sneezing or coughing, use the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose. Then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid physical contact greetings, there are ways to greet without using kisses or hugs.
  • Respect the established seating capacity, especially in lifts and halls.
  • Respect the established timetables for entering the premises.
  • Respect the distance between people at customer service points, such as Reception.

The Future of the Hospitality Industry

Nowadays, it is uncertain where we are going in any economic area, as every day the measures vary because the strains of the virus mutate and everything we have learnt we have to modify. That is why the demands of hotels and restaurants have increased, being ever stricter with the compliance of norms, changing the standards we were used to and always creating an environment where the user can feel safe.

An important consideration is to keep guests in constant communication of the adjustments or parameters that will be used to avoid contagion, as they may encounter guests or diners who will not want certain activities to be carried out in order to limit contact with third parties. Some hotels have modified the buffet service, offering as an alternative a pre-selection of products from which we must choose to close our menu.

Technology accompanies us through our phones, and part of the future of the hotel industry is the development of applications that allow guests or diners to reduce contact with other people, where they can book, order and even communicate in real time if they need something. There are many things that can be done through a Smartphone, and these would be the light at the end of the tunnel. On this website, you can see how Bliscop can help you enormously in this aspect.

A few tips

There may be no effective way to avoid contagion other than individual protection and social distancing, but this should not be an excuse to do, for example, outdoor activities with friends, where the risk of contracting COVID is much lower. Let us be agents of change on a small scale, reminding our communities of the basic protective measures: use of masks and frequent hand washing; as we are all users of some branch of the hospitality industry with some kind of frequency.

Let us also remember that this disease is spread through contact with infected people or highly manipulable surfaces, therefore, if you have any symptoms: stay at home, take extreme measures of cleanliness and cleanliness, request home delivery services (if required), avoid believing and creating rumours that may cause alarm, get information through official channels, and remember that if you take care of yourself, you take care of us all.

You can take a look at our website Bliscop if you are looking for a POS Software for your hospitality business!