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.
As indoor hospitality opens up for the first time in more than 5 months in Wales, Kim Marsh from The Star Inn in the Vale of Glamorgan has told us she's "very excited but nervous" to re-open.@LBC | @LBCNews pic.twitter.com/3TriRFQXXT
— Daniel Bevan (@DanBevJourno) May 17, 2021
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.
👇what Cerys said.
Please get out there & support our independents!
remember, be kind, be patient. Most are understaffed & have new teams, as well as all the previous restrictions. & don’t be a review site keyboard warrior. Just enjoy being out with friends/family, & not cooking! https://t.co/MFnmwh3wIU
— Owen Morgan (@sherrymonster44) May 18, 2021
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.
— Natalie Isaac (@nat_isaac44) May 13, 2021
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.
What an outrageous day, we have been rushed off our socks since we opened the doors today! You came out in your masses to support us & we can’t be any more grateful for it….& fucking exhaustedto be honest. What a shock to the system that was & we get to go again tomorrow🤘🏻 pic.twitter.com/XepUgHqjFr
— Dusty’s™ (@dustys_pizza) April 10, 2021
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.
Just because there is a global crisis doesn't mean standards should drop or the shopping experience should not matter …. #Narberth shop today. We are doing our humble part keeping the #Welsh economy going! pic.twitter.com/63SduIzy2F
— ultracomida (@UltracomidaPaul) May 6, 2020
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.
If you run a #hospitality business in #Wales, you must keep records of customers, staff and visitors to support the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service. It’s a legal requirement. Here’s a useful checklist to help:
— Visit Wales Biz (@VisitWalesBiz) May 17, 2021
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.
Average pub/ restaurant eligible for £5k to £7.5k.. substantially less than the restart grants in England (£18.5k) and Scotland (£19.5k).. it’s going to be a very Rocky few months businesses carrying a lot of debt. Support your indies people! #eatindie
— Cerys Furlong (@cerysfurlong) May 17, 2021
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 re
From Monday, our 'Eat Independent, Help Local' campaign will encourage customers to use their #EatOuttoHelpOut discounts with local independents – in turn, supporting local jobs & producers, and keeping our local economies going.
— WIRC (@WIRC10) July 31, 2020
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.
Fully booked within three minutes I’m afraid 🥵
— NOOK™ (@nookcdf) May 17, 2021
10. In a nutshell, take this opportunity to enjoy eating out again, but remember to be kind to their staff, and to each other.
Dear The General Public
Please be kind to hospitality staff.
— Kasim Ali (@kasimali23) May 17, 2021