A new report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) details the impact of COVID-19 on the hotel sector: restaurants, pubs, cafes, bars and some accommodation services like hotels and campsites. The picture he paints is both grim and encouraging: The novel coronavirus pandemic has hit the hotel industry as hard as any industry in England. The recovery is starting, but the delayed Brexit crisis and the new pressure of testing, tracing and isolation rules brought about by the fourth stage of England’s lockdown roadmap are both starting to bite.
Below are the main findings of the ONS report on the impact of COVID-19 on restaurants and their employees:
The hospitality industry is one of the sectors most affected by COVID-19
In April 2020, just under 1,650,000 restaurant, pub, bar and cafe workers were on leave as the first nationwide lockdown closed restaurants for indoor dining. While that number fell to just under 590,000 employees on leave at the end of May 2021, those 590,000 still represent a quarter of all employees on leave at that time. Meanwhile, hospitality revenues (as defined by the ONS) remained down 25% in May 2021, year over year.
If restaurants struggled, pubs really struggled
The report confirms a more nebulous sense of difficulty for pubs, especially in the days of the level system and ‘substantial meal’ rules around Scottish eggs. The ban on table service, which places may decide to reintroduce from July 19, coupled with these interventions, means that if the overall revenues of places of reception are down by 25%, for pubs, this figure is 39%.
Restaurant and pub suppliers are still struggling
The hospitality shutdown effectively shut down many suppliers -om meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and beer to cleaning supplies and more. While some of the best-known and best-connected companies have been able to reconfigure their businesses to reach consumers directly, the average value of hotel companies’ payments to suppliers remains below half of what it was in February 2020, after dropping to such a low level. like 40 percent in the first and third lock.
Restaurants could reopen, but worker hours don’t see a full resurgence
With the phased reopening of restaurants – first take-out only, then outdoors, then indoors – workers’ hours have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. Where the average hours worked from January to March 2020 was 25 per week, this figure is only 19 in May 2021 and fell to 13 in the spring of 2020. This fall is not evenly distributed, a proportion This will be taken into account by people who are totally unemployed, who lose their jobs or are put on leave.
Job vacancies rise sharply as COVID-19 and Brexit become entangled
Between December 2020 and February 2021 – the months of winter closure – vacancies in hotel companies were around 19,000. When rooms reopened on May 17 of this year, the figure is 102,000. That is. a long time to come, both with Brexit itself and the political message surrounding it preventing many European hotel workers from coming to England and making many more feel unwanted while COVID -19 put millions of people on leave. While labeling a complex situation “understaffed” incorrectly implies that it is just a numbers game – without thinking about whether long hours for low wages in environments known to abuse is worth it – there is an imbalance between supply and demand.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over
“Confidence” – a measure of how confident businesses are of whether or not they will survive the next three months or not – fell from May 2021. By mid-July 2021, with all COVID-19 restrictions legally lifted, but many remaining in place, either at the whim of providers or companies, the still false notion of “freedom day” is in the dust. This fourth step in England’s lifting of the coronavirus laws has always been that – a measured fourth step in what now appears to be a five-step process – neither the much-vaunted rejection of all restrictions nor ‘the experience dangerous and unethical ”that partisan groups – whether politically motivated, backed by questionable science, or both – on either side of an incredibly complex situation claim to be.
While the return of bar service is a big boon for pubs, for restaurants, the legal removal of “one meter plus” social distancing is much less important than the third step, when eating indoors. resumed in May. As cases increase, as predicted by the Stage Three screening, vaccination has significantly reduced the risk of serious consequences – but many restaurant workers are yet to be vaccinated. Somewhere between false hope and false misfortune, restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars move forward, knowing that while things improve, there is still a long way to go.