The restaurant, pub and indeed hospitality industry in the UK is due a rebound. After an extremely challenging year with so much uncertainty and three lockdowns which meant restaurants and pubs couldn’t open their doors to customers, the light must be at the end of the tunnel. The great news is that restaurants, pubs and cafes will reopen for outdoor dining from April 12, 2021. This is really exciting news on the road to recovery.
No doubt, the coronavirus pandemic had a massive impact on the hospitality sector. While some businesses became more innovative and adapted their business model to deliver takeout meals, for some other hospitality businesses it has not been scalable. The result has been the accumulation of ongoing fixed costs and debt in many cases.
The Government’s intervention schemes like the Eat Out to Help Out offered temporary relief for some in an industry that has been challenged on all fronts. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has partly offset unemployment by covering payroll costs but more needs to be done for accumulated rents and business rates. The industry plays a key role in our communities, the high street and our way of life.
Official research and data shows that the hospitality industry is a major driver of the UK economy. Out of habit and culture, we love to eat out, socialize with friends and family and celebrate milestones in our lives. Imagine all the events from work functions to birthdays and anniversaries that were scrapped last year and the impact on the industry especially over the busy Christmas period.
From publicly available data, in 2019, the hospitality sector:
The scale of the hospitality industry in the UK is massive. The impact it has on our way of life is hard to quantify. Speaking with Andy Sexton, the Business Development Manager of Certa Service, a leading catering equipment supplier and maintenance business, we got more insight into the challenges in the industry and how Certa Service is supporting other hospitality businesses through this new and exciting phase.
Certa Service specialises in catering equipment servicing and maintenance for restaurants, pubs, schools, golf clubs, hotels and care homes. They cover all major equipment brands and offer re-active breakdown support to full preventive maintenance packages. This means your business should never have downtime and loss of revenue due to broken equipment as a Certa Engineer will be dispatched to deal with your problem promptly.
With a portfolio of leading high-end restaurants in Mayfair, Carnaby Street, Soho and Fitzrovia as clients, Certa Service is optimistic about the future and is looking to extend its service and footprint across London and the Home Counties. “We are renowned for our service. You can always get our assistance in an emergency at the drop of the hat. We supply, service and repair all types of catering equipment from all the major brands and manufacturers. From your oven to refrigeration units to extractors units to gas and electrical appliances, you are covered with us. We stock spares as well. This means we can react faster to any situation than the other providers”.
After a turbulent last 12 months, Certa Service is bullish and counting on a rebound in the industry. Remarks Andy “There are a few sporting events this summer; the delayed Euro 2020 men's football championship that will take place this summer, the Olympic Games, Copa America Championships, Wimbledon, Tour de France and many others. This should drive footfall to restaurants, pubs and other hospitality units. We also anticipate all the postponed social events like birthdays, anniversaries will be celebrated. We believe it will be a busy period for the hospitality industry.
The Managing Director of Certa Service, Dan Loria has a positive outlook of the industry and has been working with his management team to support a lot of businesses as they resume trading. Certa has recently expanded its sales and marketing team as a way to broaden its client base and make the business more robust. By targeting more high profile West End restaurants with its services, he is confident of adding more clients to the books.
Certa is also the leading UK distributor for induction cooking equipment. They operate a 24-hour call-out service meaning a fault is diagnosed and repaired in minutes by their technicians. Spares are despatched promptly to the technician from their Warehouse in Hemel Hempstead. All staff use PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and disinfect surfaces between visits.
“We understand the challenges within the industry. Some restaurants may have not operated their oven or refrigeration units in months. They may have no idea if their equipment is still functioning as usual. Besides, with the loss of income, there is the temptation by restaurant owners and head chefs to look differently about their budgets. This is where we can assist with our regular servicing plans and kitchen leasing equipment option to save costs, reduce downtime and lost revenue. There is also an introductory discount on your first health check”.
There is no doubt the food sector has been hit so hard by the coronavirus pandemic over the last year. Restrictions on trading have impacted business turnover. The confidence of the industry has been shaken. However, with the Government's mass vaccination programme rollout and the staggered return to business from April 12 with outside dining and from May 17 with indoor eaters, a turnaround is around the corner. Certa Service will play a major role with a superior and better service offering.
Supporting businesses and the community is in Certa Service's DNA. They are the proud sponsors of the Hemel Storm Basketball team, the semi-professional basketball club from Hemel Hempstead competing in the second tier of the British basketball system. It is part of the great strides of a company that has been around for just under a decade.
The UK hospitality industry needs our support to thrive. We are seeing more innovation and creativity by key players in the industry to weather this storm and emerge stronger. Makeshift eateries, yurts, pods and even food vans are common nowadays. As we get through the most challenging phase in recent time, we all have a role to play by dining out while keeping safe.
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