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Impact Of Covid-19 On The Food And Hospitality Industry

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the consequential lockdown has placed the global economy in a state of mayhem. Reeling under the impact of the pandemic, the food and hospitality industry which is viewed to be one of the largest generators of employment in the country, is running into heavy losses.

The travel and tourism industry has suffered a setback due to the restrictions on movement accompanied with the suspension of flights, in turn augmenting the unemployment rate in the country. The virus has disrupted every sphere of human activity and the industries particularly like food and hospitality are going through a major turbulence owing to the lockdown and the resultant economic downturn. Undoubtedly, the sustainability of these sectors is difficult in this current phase of social distancing.

However, the unlocking of the economy has provided much needed respite to these industries and they are now inching back to normalcy. Though the government has granted permission for the reopening of the hotels and restaurants, they will have to adopt stringent practices to ensure that proper hygiene is maintained by their staff in the premises and also during food preparation. They willhave to elevate their sanitation levels in order to boost confidence among the guests/ visitors.

Since the patrons have become more particular about hygiene, it is pivotal for these restaurants to understand the customer needs along with their perceptions and function in accordance to the same. As a precaution for the safety of the guests, they might even have to reduce their seating capacity in order to prevent overcrowding. Consumers may prefer takeaway or home delivery rather than dining out,due to the fear induced in them because of the virus.

Although there has been some improvement in the occupancy rates of the hotels with the easing of the restrictions, the travel industry will take sometime to revive due to the pandemic caused global economic slowdown. The curbs on flights will be entirely lifted only when the government is satisfied that the situation is in control and granting permission to travel will not pose any threat/danger to the lives of the citizens. Even after the lockdown is completely lifted, people might remain reluctant to travel again with the same gusto be it for business or leisure.

It can be concluded that the food and hospitality industry has been left to bear the brunt of this coronavirus induced economic collapse and these industries will take sometime to gain stability.

As the virus continues its assault on human lives, it is important to ensure that there is solidarity among everyone including both large as well as small scale business operators, because that is the only factor which will help each one of us navigate our path to normalcy, combating this potent enemy that has inflicted wide ranging damage on the economies worldwide.

Written By: Nirali Parekh

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