Following yesterday’s announcement of a new ‘toughened’ 3 tier system, but no knowledge of what tier will apply where, challenges businesses wanting to try and operate within these changes. Please forgive the understatement.
The question now is, have things already gone too far, has the point of no return been reached. For all too many the answer is yes, in balance sheet terms.
Even for those with cash reserves, if the pandemic has seen a level of loss mount up that future trading forecasts can’t overtake in a reasonable timescale, the businesses in that position are for all intents and purposes extinct, even if the death certificate hasn’t yet been issued.
For hospitality businesses looking to open on 3 December, without knowing which tier restrictions they will be required to work around, effective planning cannot take place.
If a hospitality business is in tier 3, unless they will sell takeaways no planning will be required, they remain closed. Tier 2 and Tier 1 of course will require planning, but the differences between them, and any additional so far unannounced tougher requirements of the business, and what the locations of those tiers will be, make planning for both very different, and as such both cannot be undertaken at the same time. At least not without losing more money.
Planning to open means spending money. Spending on things like bringing people into work, the facilities needed to be provided for people in work, the menu, ordering products from suppliers, reaching customers to let them know businesses are open. The list is long and its execution, covering all eventualities is simply not possible, without needlessly spending money on getting one potential outcome wrong.
Add the window of six days from announcement to opening and the task invites a mission impossible analogy, as we did in the title.
Government might be run this way at the moment, but expecting businesses to, really.
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Hospitality & Catering News: hospitality mission impossible – 24 November 2020 – hospitality mission impossible.
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