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The new rules for post-pandemic restaurants

As lockdown becomes a distant memory, chefs and restaurateurs must look at a different way of providing hospitality to their customers February 2020, Britain’s restaurants were reeling. EU-based staff had been sent scurrying home by Brexit, no longer keen to work in a country that gave every impression of not wanting them. The price of imported ingredients was rising, thanks to increased bureaucracy and a weakened pound. Still, restaurateurs told themselves, at least things could hardly get worse. Enter coronavirus. At times over the past two years the pandemic has looked like it may be an extinction level event for hospitality. All the things initially blamed for the spread of coronavirus – touching, breathing, close quarters with other people – were just the sorts of things that went on in restaurants. They were blamed for not shutting soon enough, despite inadequate government assurances of financial support. Then they were blamed for not reopening fast enough, before being propelled by Rishi Sunak’s “eat out to help out” scheme. After that, they were admonished for reopening too fast, when that measure proved at best premature and at worst foolish in the face of rising case numbers. Continue reading...

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