As hospitality businesses across the UK adjust to the Covid-19 world, consumer confidence is paramount to business recovery.
Recent reporting in BristolLive has unveiled two restaurants that are paying no notice whatsoever to health and safety.
Their actions are damaging consumer confidence in our industry doing us all a disservice.
The reporting highlights two well known restaurant chains, the first is a Pizza Hut restaurant in Bedminster, Bristol.
Bristol restaurants ignore safety – Pizza Hut
A delivery driver who wished to remain anonymous, told reporters at BristolLive that she had no training in non-contact delivery and added she didn’t see anyone washing their hands when she started her first shift at the restaurant.
Pizza Hut said it will look into the issues at the North Street restaurant it described as an “isolated circumstance.”
Shocked by the working conditions she experienced the driver said: “I started as a delivery driver last week but haven’t gone back after one day because I felt unsafe.
“I wasn’t trained in non-contact delivery, or any health and hygiene. I wasn’t shown the hand wash sinks but when I found them, they didn’t even have soap.
“No one was wearing aprons and I didn’t see anyone wash their hands, even after changing the bins.
“I used to be a general manager of a popular restaurant chain, so I know what I’m looking at and honestly have never been so disgusted.
“I’ve tried to talk to the manager, but he won’t even call me back, so I was forced to quit, for my own safety.”
Responding to the driver’s claims, a Pizza Hut spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear of the experience of one of our drivers and want to thank them for raising these issues.
“We are carrying out an investigation to understand what happened in this isolated circumstance.
“The health and wellbeing of our team members remains our top priority; we have introduced enhanced safety measures to protect our staff and customers and we are following all Government guidelines.
“These measures include training our staff on contactless deliveries and social distancing, offering our staff the use of face masks, and updated in-store guidance on health and safety processes during shifts – including handwashing and increased sanitation.
“We’re working closely with our franchisees to ensure this guidance is always followed are incredibly proud of our team members who are working so hard during this time.”
An astonishing attempt by Pizza Hut PR to brush over profoundly serious flaws in business processes, flaws that jeopardise the health of staff and customers. Doing the right thing is what is required not trying to say the right thing.
Bristol restaurants ignore safety – KFC
BristolLive also reported that KFC has launched a similar investigation. The investigation was launched after pictures emerged of delivery riders ignoring social distancing measures at its recently-opened Filton restaurant in Bristol.
The drivers are pictured squeezed together trying to get into the restaurant to collect food to deliver to people where no social distancing took place.
We must congratulate BristolLive for their reporting of such blatant disregard by restaurants for the health and safety of staff and customers.
If as an industry we are to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic much more than lip service will have to be applied to care of customers and colleagues.
Cases such as these have so far been limited thankfully as most restaurants are observing and adapting to the new world we all find ourselves in.
Pubs and hotels similarly are adapting, although there are still isolated cases of some openly flouting guidelines and remaining open risking their licences.