With the onset of Omicron, many of the restaurants are now thinking if there would be a new lockdown thereby impacting their business again. During the pandemic, the hotel industry had seen the worst losses as many of the small hotels and restaurants got closed as they were not getting enough home delivery orders.
Restaurants To Be Hit Again Due To Omicron?
Currently, restaurants are allowed to operate without any restrictions in US and UK and the 50% seating restriction has also been lifted. However, there is a shortage of laborers across every town and the prices of food are increasing at an alarming rate. Caroline Glover who is a restaurant owner and chef at Annette in Denver stated that she is still concerned that they might go into loss as they did in early 2020.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked people to wear masks even in an indoor environment in an attempt to control the spread of Omicron. However, this has led to fewer people visiting hotels and restaurants and many of the places are reporting that they are now receiving cancellation orders in bulk ahead of Christmas and New Year. The government of Wales and Scotland had stated that they will be providing support to the hotel industry which added more pressure on the UK government.
Jeff Galvin who is the co-owner of Galvin restaurants stated that tables of 8 and 16 are getting canceled overnight. Even the business meetings and meeting halls pre-booked months ago got cancellation requests. Most of the hotels received calls for cancellation when Johnson stated that the country would be observing more tight restrictions due to the onset of Omicron.
Glover stated that if the number of cases increases then the government might ask to get back to a 50% seating arrangement which makes restaurants lose money during vacations.
Amy Brandwein who owns an Italian restaurant in Washington stated that since 2020 business is now getting back to its normal value, however, there is a huge shortage of staff. In a survey conducted it was observed that 75% of the restaurants don’t have the staff needed to run their place.
Paige Daine who used to work for $10 an hour as a waitress stated that she was now offered $16 an hour however even that amount is not enough to meet the daily needs as the prices of things are getting higher and higher every day. Many of the waiters and staff quit their work and started back at school in order to get a better job after their education.
Amy stated that she even offered to up the salary of the staff by 40% yet was finding it difficult to keep her staff, she cants increase the price of the menu much as then the business would be impacted as there would be some other restaurant who would sell the food items at a cheaper price.
Jonna who owns a restaurant in Michigan stated that even though large party halls have been canceled she still has people coming over who want to spend time eating with friends and families. This has helped the business to grow and cover-up for the past 2 years as well.
Sara Lund who owns a bar and restaurant stated that the ingredients which are required for making food is now too costly. The prices went up by 15 to 40% this year which has led to a change in menu prices as well. However, the restaurant owners can’t change the price much as this could affect their loyal customers and might also get them fewer people during vacations.