The hospitality industry comprises businesses that provide food and beverages, accommodation such as hotels, motels, cafes, taverns and bars, restaurants, and takeaway food services. The Covid19 pandemic that struck the entire world in 2020 and the lockdown at nations around the world affected the hospitality industry of Melbourne greatly. Many taverns and bars, restaurants and cafe owners around Melbourne crashed during the first wave of coronavirus Says David Antico. The hospitality industry suffered great loss during the pandemic period as many watched their trade drop off a cliff, therefore calling for the government to come to their aid.
Is the Hospitality Industry Free From The Pandemic?
When we look at the last 18 months, we could see that there is no certainty regarding the pandemic. Which makes it hard to have full confidence that we are truly out of the hook of the pandemic. Though some belief with the vaccines being available there is the possibility that the impact and effect of the pandemic will reduce. While some think that the impact the lockdown had and may continue to have will forever be felt in the hospitality industry.
Based on the ongoing restrictions on capacity, reduced tourism, staff shortages, and other challenges that the industry is currently going through, it will take time for the industry to bounce back. Though looking at what is happening around the world presently there seems to be a ray of hope but everyone is still trying to understand what the new norms for traveling, dining out and social interaction will look like. Is a great thing that Australia has finally started to move forward and open to the rest of the world by bursting its isolation bubble.
The Aftermath of The lockdown on Business Owners and Staff In The Hospitality Industry
Many are exhausted and yet to recover mentally from the effect of the pandemic and movement restriction. Some businesses couldn’t survive during the pandemic period and as a result, they were forced to close down. And as for those that managed to survive they have to live one day at a time and have a shortage of staff as most staff have to work in positions they didn’t sign up for.
As we all know that staffing is the backbone of any hospitality business and the pandemic has had a toll on them mentally. Working in hospitality normally is hard work on its own as it can be physically demanding and stressful sometimes. Many business owners and staff at some point in time during the lockdown period went through one or all of the following challenges, physical, mental, emotional, and financial. But through it all, we have those that overcome all odds and bounce back on their feet and move with their life.
Business owners were not only faced with challenges but they were able to learn and see new possibilities during the pandemic as well. Because during this period business owners were able to see the need to diversify and search for a new stream of income, be more creative and be able to adapt. For businesses to survive the next 12 months after re-opening there are lots of work they have to do. The problem of delays in international shipping of equipment, building materials, and international products as well as an increase in the cost of goods is seriously affecting every business. Even though the assistance provided by the government during this period has been of great help to many businesses to remain active. But the question now is will the government continue to provide assistance post lockdown?
The Effect on the Hospitality Industry Generally
Even though restrictions have been eased for hospitality businesses in Melbourne, business owners are still faced with personal debt, business debt, and other debt crises. With the Covid19 tax concessions and rental agreements deferrals that were given to small businesses during the pandemic, they are still in debt. The reason is that the trade they made from the local tourism and international tourism has reduced drastically and even those working in the private and public sectors are working sometimes from home. According to David Antico things are getting tough for small business owners and their chance of survival is very less.
The city of Melbourne experience changes during the pandemic period including the hospitality and food businesses. The government established an extended outdoor program to help and support the hospitality industry in Melbourne to trade safely during the pandemic period.
There is Still Hope For The Industry
Regardless of what is going on presently in the Melbourne hospitality industry and the uncertainty of what the government might do, there is still hope and room to develop, says David Antico. With the various challenges the industry is facing, it’s difficult to know how things will turn out in months or years but those in the hospital industry are optimistic everything will be fine. The hospitality industry will bounce back in the long run to give people the opportunity to spend some time with each other, eat nice food and drink good wine.