Life for many was flipped upside down when, in March 2020, news broke that the UK would enter a hard lockdown due to the rise in Coronavirus cases. Businesses closed their doors, staff were furloughed and told to work from home. For Dominos Pizza, however, it was business as usual. Shift manager, Dennis Odiase, detailed how working life became more strenuous as their store was one of the few to remain open.
“The first things to happen in-store was the requirement for masks to be worn at all times, as well as large transparent screens being installed to maintain social distancing. However, one of the biggest things to affect us was a change in opening hours. We went from being open 11am-11pm, to 5pm-9pm.
“It was quite stressful. Every day was really busy, you had people who would never order from us making orders so often because there wasn’t really anything else opened in the area, other than supermarkets.”
Dennis is a manager in the Johnstone store, a small town in the district of Renfrewshire. He knew the importance of his role in order to keep fellow employees safe.
“I did feel the responsibility. Having to remind people to stick to guidelines and get tested was important. Our store is quite small, so if one person got COVID then our team would become even smaller which would be far from ideal.”
He had other commitments to balance while also being at Dominos almost every day.
“At the time, I was at UWS in my fourth year studying business management. This was my first year doing university completely online, so having to cope with that while being at Dominos near enough all the time was quite challenging. But we all persevered and overcame the obstacles.”
Dennis, who was born in Italy and moved here in 2016, feels the various lockdowns have changed his outlook on life.
“I now feel that anything can change at any time. I now try to be more flexible and have become more adaptable to situations. I also value my freedom and time a lot more.”