It has been a torrid time for the hospitality sector amidst the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, with mass closures of the different parts within the industry, to now, where managers and staff are forced to find new solutions; it has been a stressful time which has seen peoples livelihoods buried.
32 year old Stephen, an area manager between Glasgow and Edinburgh for the pub/restaurant chain Kitty O’Sheas, spoke of the risks and challenges involved for the new precautions that were introduced; “You can put all these things in place, but you never really know until customers are coming in and you are selling alcohol and food.” Not knowing when the next pay cheque would come also was a worry for the bar manager.
Amongst the on the job pressures hospitality workers are facing, the biggest question for them is what is next? With families to support and houses to run, there has been growing concerns on how much and where a balanced income will come from.
Being a mother of three, Radstone hotel employee Nicole Robertson stressed her concern of the growing challenges faced by the crisis. Despite the support and appreciation from her employer, she feels there is a lack of guidance from the top; “At the start of lockdown we were two weeks behind England, Boris saying to do this thing and Nicola saying that’s not right, for then weeks later to end up agreeing with him.”
Mass confusion has swept around the country, with a basic ‘take each day as it comes approach’ from the SNP. Staff members in the sector are posing questions on a regular basis and believe this has went on for too long. Angus, a cocktail maker from the Eagle Tavern in Prestwick chuckled “After seven months, I would have a better plan.”
Members of the hospitality industry feel targeted due to the recent rise in cases; even though a large government initiative was created to encourage people to go back to help these sectors and also that this will be a recurring theme every time there is a spike. It seems like there are worrying times ahead for the sector which could see many pubs, restaurants and hotels across the country slam their doors shut and fading into the darkness forever.
Please see attached interview with members of staff from the hospitality sector:
By Declan Hughes, Alan Caldwell, Adam Campbell and Kenny Boag