The Restaurant Association sought member feedback on the impact of Covid-19 in a series of short surveys.
This seventh survey was conducted on 17th May, 2020.
As the Country moved to Level 2 our industry was back open for business to hungry diners enthusiastic to get back into their favourite establishments. However, level 2 restrictions and last minute changes to rules created further complexity for the industry which is doing its best to keep up to speed with its responsibilities.
The Public Health Order that came into force the night before we went into Level 2 indicated that our industry is now no longer able to offer counter service unless it is for a takeaway order. Single server was previously stated as ‘where possible’ but has since become mandated. This rule is particularly challenging, given the changeover of staff between shifts, rest breaks and serving larger groups. The additional costs required to lay on more staff is increasing wage bills and with fewer tables to serve, for many it’s making the cost of reopening too high.
- The survey results indicate that almost 29% reopened for the first time at Level 2; 59% had reopened at Level 3.
- 88% opened for customers to dine on the premises, 65% opened for takeaways, 26% opened for deliveries, 7% opened to sell meal kits.
- Turnover has generally not matched the same time last year – 45% indicated that turnover was significantly down.
“Customers are nervous coming out after the lockdown. Our cafe looks so different with safety signage and big spaces. It’s proving difficult to recreate the hub bub.”