Covid-19: the widespread impact on food, beverage and catering

Thursday, 24th September 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost all industries, but the food, beverage and catering industry has been one of the most severely affected, with restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and other establishments serving or supplying food having to close their doors for extended periods.

The knock-on effect has been vast not only in terms of the staff of the actual establishments, but right across the supply chain. The disruption has impacted suppliers across the fresh produce sector including farming and fish, as well as suppliers of pre-packed foods, beverages, catering and cooking equipment, transport and logistics companies, equipment service agents, laundry services, and of course the financial services that support the industry.

The industry is particularly reliant on Just In Time (JIT) logistics, which are usually highly-robust against single item change but do not have the elasticity to deal with universal disruption.

As a result, not only has there been a widespread permanent closure of numerous establishments which could not absorb the financial impact, and the consequent redundancy of staff, but those establishments that have managed to stay in business have had to deal with insurance problems (either through clauses excluding pandemics or because there has only been partial, rather than full closure), staff who do not have requisite paid sick leave and are thus going unpaid, and numerous staff who have contracted the virus and have had to self-isolate, or worse, passed away because of it.

Technomic experts predict that the global financial impact of Covid-19 will reach lost consumer spending amounting to some $600-million, with a 25-30% reduction in restaurant sales.

One positive has been the boom in home-delivery services, and restaurants and cafes who have been able to re-open under the restrictive regulations regarding social distancing have been able to use these services to generate some income.

While the full impact on the economy of the food and beverage industry has yet to be finalised, in many countries establishments are beginning to re-open, albeit under stringent Covid-19 health and safety guidelines. 

To help stimulate trade there are some practical steps restaurant owners can take, including:

  • Using social media and other marketing channels (paid and organic) to promote your establishment’s robust overall sanitising policies and practices
  • Highlight any updates and refreshes to your menu
  • Promote your dine-at-home or take-away options
  • Highlight any special offers you may have each week to build return customers

The team at Framton Worldwide extends its best wishes to all those in the food and beverage industry and beyond. We look forward to seeing a resurgence in trade and are here to support you every step of the way. 

For more information on our products and services please contact us on 01354 650569.