After months of anticipation, the post-pandemic economic recovery is finally within reach. The Desperate Tango who tried to enter our favorite restaurant is back, but we are all happy to eat out again and feel strangely sure even if the reservation is refused. It’s easy to assume that restaurants are recovering when they are too busy to accommodate us, but restaurant profits and losses have never been so linear. The restaurant staff knows these subtle economics very well, which is why we don’t need outsiders to diagnose our health.
Turning on a few sprinklers will not eliminate a year-long large-scale drought. Even if demand expands, sales indicators cannot accurately measure the status quo of the catering industry. The fact is that during the pandemic, most of the damage to the restaurant economy occurred below the surface.
As restaurant professionals, we learn to hide our weaknesses so that our guests do not feel uncomfortable, and usually sacrifice ourselves at the expense of our own sanity. But this time we cannot put the welfare of our guests above our own welfare. Recovery should be something we deal with as a whole in our own way. We can’t just “play it”. If we do this, we will almost certainly face more risk of permanent harm.
There are still many reasons to be optimistic that the worst may be over. If the stock market is any measure of confidence, Wall Street predicts that for the rest of 2022, the demand for dining out will be unprecedentedly suppressed. The share prices of the parent companies of multinational chains such as Olive Garden and Applebee’s are at or near historical highs, riding the tailwind of a potential V-shaped recovery. Investors believe that-with the continued implementation of government stimulus measures-the US economy is expected to relive another “roaring twenties.”
Unfortunately, the economic challenges of operating a restaurant have not changed. Rents in the urban areas most affected by the pandemic have fallen slightly, but real estate costs are still prohibitively high. Independent restaurants cannot adapt to fluctuating market conditions as flexibly as companies. As the labor market tightens, inflation is slowly rising, while commodity prices are soaring as demand increases. The rate of increase in input costs exceeds the ability of restaurant owners to increase prices.
Medical experts have predicted that with New variants of circulation As well as the lingering suspicion of vaccines, we should expect the virus strain to break out again in autumn and winter. If this happens, it is hard to imagine that the public will accept another round of blockade imposed by the government.
It is wrong to think that we can get rid of every mess in our own way, but this is unique to the United States. The pandemic has turned the catering industry into a house of cards. By May last year, nearly 6 million restaurant employees had been unemployed, accounting for two-thirds of the entire workforce. More than 100,000 companies have closed their doors, many of which are permanent.
One year later, the The media continues to expose Bad actors and cultural issues that are common in restaurant workplaces have reported on the seemingly steady flow of famous chefs who are also long-term abusers.rampant Labor shortage It is a by-product of workers’ fear of returning to an environment with so many inherent health risks, and an industry with so many systemic problems that linger.
We should first ask ourselves why the restaurant has become such a high-pressure environment. The answer is simple: money. When people spend more in restaurants, they expect more than just good food. Although supporting yourself is a matter of life and death, it should be happy and peaceful to have food for you.On the contrary, high-end dining meets people’s needs Yearning for status. With the increase in menu prices, the status of customers rises, while the status of waiters declines. Excessive expenditures have created this kind of retrogressive momentum, and it is wrong to think that it can help reverse this dynamic.
The catering industry as a whole is not monolithic, which makes it difficult to set parameters on how to define recovery. One way we rebuild our business structure is to lay a stronger foundation for long-term employment. Historically, restaurant work has been short-lived, but before the pandemic hits, it is becoming a more viable career path. During the lockdown, many employers hurriedly decided to cut the bait for employees, which derailed this progress and caused a large loss of talent pool, which may not be replaced. Although the rest of the world has adapted to remote work, restaurant staff do not have such a digital life raft. You cannot cook and serve food through Zoom.
In the short term, restaurants need to make it clear-if necessary, decisively-that our existence is not purely to promote post-pandemic euphoria. This is not something we are programmed to do, but we must enforce boundaries more firmly. As our guests continue to raise their expectations of us, we need to start to raise their expectations.
Asking guests to return the table in time, for example, was once a taboo and should no longer be regarded as an insult. Since the table has been rebooked, it should be acceptable to refuse another round of gatherings after dessert. Drunkenness or rude behavior should be dealt with by authority. No more sweet-spoken managers come to visit.
Changing the way we manage guest behavior requires reimagining how we manage hospitality. Our space is a refuge and should be treated with the same respect.When we object to a destructive or disrespectful guest, we should not feel the need to bend our knees, we should ask courtesy.
The following is how we should not define recovery:
1) Convince yourself that the wealthy splurge in restaurants again is tantamount to recovery. 2) Give priority to food tourism instead of continuing to cultivate neighborhood sponsorships that support us through the most difficult months. 3) Celebrate big-name chefs expanding their business footprint and colonizing cities outside their hometown. 4) Assume that government stimulus measures will rescue hordes of troubled catering companies.
In order to truly measure the completeness of the recovery, we should focus on dormant restaurant spaces as we focus on restaurants that have survived the pandemic. Although the scale of the economic loss is insignificant compared with the casualties, it is staggering. Just as society avoided dealing with the grief of millions of Covid-19 deaths, it still denies the long-term damage caused by the pandemic to many sectors of our economy, such as the food and beverage industry.
Now life is returning to some ostensibly normal, I hear people passing by a crowded restaurant and Announcing the “return” of their city. “Nature is healing,” they would say. But the truth is that nature has always been the biggest rival of the restaurant. The physical space where the restaurant is located has been eroded due to constant exposure to the elements. Bad weather can turn a prosperous night into a disaster. Natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods destroy businesses that take years to build, sometimes in the blink of an eye. Even the ruthless gravity of the earth can cause injuries to the feet of every restaurant worker.Nature does not support us; we survive in spite of natural. Like form, nature will provide a constant, nagging headwind as the restaurant cleans up the mess. Healing takes time, and nature is stingy in providing these.
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