A RESTAURATEUR in Warwick says hospitality businesses need to ‘change their business models or die’ as the pandemic continues to threaten their futures.
The stark prediction comes following a confirmed delay in the full easing of Covid restrictions for June 21 – something the businessowner blames on ‘Government inaction and incompetence’.
Alex Clayton was forced to close Tasca Dali Spanish restaurant at the start of lockdown, resorting, like many others, to offering meal deliveries to try and keep his business alive.
Since then, despite being allowed to reopen between lockdowns last year, the business has adapted to months of continuous revisions to the guidance including self-distancing rules, reducing customer capacity by half.
Alex said: “The final lifting of the restrictions is critical for us as a small restaurant. To be running at minimal capacity has a huge impact. We have been through a lot over the last 14 months but I am proud to say we have managed to keep on almost all the team.
“What is difficult to fathom is that the delays are the result of Government slowness to close borders immediately when they detected the variants from India. This means that once again it is the small business that needs to pay for such inaction and incompetence. We are supposed to plan when they cannot.
“At the end of the day, incompetence aside, I do believe we shall have to adapt to a continual serious of mutations and restrictions in what is quickly becoming a very brave new world.
“Since we cannot fight the system and since we put our clients front and centre of everything we do, we shall need to change our business model or die.”
The businessman’s strategy has been realised in a ‘flexible booking software’ which allows greater flexibility in booking times, to maximise custom despite the venue’s limited capacity.