10 Things Indie Welsh Restaurants Want You To Know As They Reopen

Independent Welsh Restaurants

Over the past year of working closely with local restaurants and hospitality businesses (as part of my day job), I have witnessed first-hand the emotional rollercoaster that these often small, family-owned businesses have had to endure.

It has been utterly relentless, and it isn’t over yet; not by a long way.

If you’re heading out to enjoy your favourite local eatery this week, here are a few things that the staff at your local independent restaurant would want you to know.

1. They’re obviously feeling excited, but they’re also nervous about welcoming everyone back after so long. Be gentle.

 

2. Many of the staff they used to employ have now re-trained and found jobs elsewhere.

Lots of hospitality businesses are working with new teams who may not “know the ropes” as well as you might expect them to, so be patient.

3. You might experience some frustrations if a business is short-staffed; please understand that it’s not as simple as just expecting them to “put more staff on.”

Businesses across Wales are struggling to fill the roles they have available – people have moved on.

 

4. After a year of constant stress over issues like this, they are feeling exhausted – but still extremely grateful for everyone who wants to visit, support, and help put money back in the tills.

5. They are doing their best to make sure you still get to experience all of the lovely things you want to, regardless of the difficult circumstances.

6. They are legally required to take your details for track & trace, and to ask you to wear a mask as much as possible when not seated at your table.

Please don’t shoot the messengers who are simply doing as they have been asked.

7. They have received less financial support than their counterparts in Scotland and England, and have also been closed / operating under stricter restrictions (which have a negative financial impact) for longer.

Many will be dealing with personal debts and worries, on top of the stresses of trying to reopen, recruit, and retrain staff.

8. They will be putting more money back into your local economy than the big corporate chain restaurants will; by supporting local farmers, producers, suppliers and a whole network of other local businesses.

In fact, research estimates that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p is respent in the local area, compared to only 40p in every £1 spent with a large business.

9. If something sounds like a good idea to you, it probably sounds like a good idea to lots of eager other people, too.

Try to be understanding (like this nice person) if / when you can’t get the reservations and tables you want.

10. In a nutshell, take this opportunity to enjoy eating out again, but remember to be kind to their staff, and to each other.

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