Covid and the global restaurant industry


It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most devastating things in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Businesses around the world have been forced to adapt or close their doors. Fortunately, with the rollout of vaccinations around the world, the industry – in some places, is starting to reopen. As South Africa expects a third wave, other countries are emerging from another hard lockdown.

Here’s how various countries around the world are moving into their new normal.

United States

The current situation in the United States of America is very large, as regulations are implemented state by state. The country as a whole sees a faster deployment of vaccines. The NY Times reports that 46% of Americans have received their first dose and 34.8% are fully immunized; and that the restaurant industry is on the rise again. With the relaxation of travel restrictions in New York, for example, there is an increase in the number of tourists, which in turn stimulates restaurant activity. One of the results is that restaurants are struggling to find the staff they need to meet the demands of the growing number of customers as the pandemic has forced staff who previously worked in the industry to seek employment elsewhere. . Eat too exposed that amid reports of labor shortages, potential employees choose not to work in the industry because of low wages and minimal benefits. Add to that the high risk of exposure. New York State also saw the relaxation of the rule: no food, no alcohol, which was introduced almost a year ago.


According to Statista, the UK catering industry saw a year-over-year decline in the number of customers seated (down 36.14% from 2019). This reflects the impact of the reintroduction of strict lockdowns and restaurant closures following an increase in COVID cases. Restaurants will be able to serve diners outside and the moratorium on indoor dining is expected to be lifted on May 17, but with restrictions in place. For some establishments, it is too little too late, as it has been reported that around 60% of hotel businesses do not have an outdoor dining area for guests. This has resulted in industry losses of around £ 200million per day in 2020 and the reason many pub and restaurant owners have attempted (and failed) to take legal action on closures. With vaccination statistics looking healthy with 67.6% of the UK population (adults 18+) having received their first dose and 34.3% being fully vaccinated, the ease of restrictions means family and friends can meet inside – in groups of up to six people or two complete households together.


The situation differs between countries and all regions of the Europe are in different stages of reopening. France, which is now coming out of its third wave, plans to reopen restaurant terraces from May 19 and a revised curfew from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. will be put in place. Domestic service is expected to resume for the country on June 9.

In Italy, outdoor dining reopened at the end of April and indoor dining will resume from June 1. Thousands of people also took to the streets in Spanish cities earlier this week to celebrate the end of a six-month state of emergency. Countries like Denmark have implemented a digital coronapas certificate, which gives you access to bars and restaurants as well as other businesses. The certificate, which can be displayed on a phone or in print, shows a negative test result, a vaccination certificate, or evidence of recent infection. Denmark has a higher rate of testing per capita than any other country in the world and dozens of new reception facilities have been put in place, so Danes are encouraged to go once or twice a week to pass free tests.


The Japanese prefectures of Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, and now Fukuoka and Aichi, are currently in an extended state of emergency until May 31, which is a measure to contain the latest wave of infections ahead of the upcoming Olympics. which should have taken place last year. As a result, under the extended state of emergency, bars, restaurants, karaoke bars and other places serving alcohol will be asked to remain closed or cease serving alcohol altogether and are to close at 8 p.m.


Cases have remained low in Australia thanks to lockdown measures and strict messages. Restaurants and other businesses have also experienced peaks in turnover since February of this year. To offset the negative impact of no-shows due to an increase in the number of customers in places, more and more restaurants need deposits (or a “pre-authorization fee”) in advance. Stricter measures are also being put in place by South Australia’s secret police to crack down on complacency surrounding the use of QR codes for COVID-19 tracking and traceability.

As South Africa has seen a drop in cases and restaurants have been able to operate with a new sense of normalcy, a third wave looming and he is encouraged to continue to follow all COVID protocols for the safety of others, ourselves and of course our beloved restaurant industry.


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