And what this means to you!
The F&B industry in FNQ has over 1500 outlets and is responsible for the employment of 1,000s of full time, part-time and casual staff and is in the frontline of the hospitality industry for both locals and visitors alike,
The situation with the Corona Virus (Covid-19) is fluid and likely to be ongoing. The Government is having to difficult policy decisions balancing public health alongside sustaining even some semblance of commerce.
At the time of writing the most recent government directives include 14 days self-isolation for all incoming international travellers, a ban on cruise ships originating from foreign ports and curtailment of any gatherings over ten people. The Government is also supporting recommendations for ‘social distancing’ a seemingly new term to describe was not to interact closely with other people. This, as of yet, does recommend an end to work, shopping, public transport or indeed eating out.
What does this mean for my foodservice business?
The situation is fluid, but the first and foremost rule is not to panic,
followed up by being aware as circumstances change and to uphold the usual standards of any food-based business. As an Industry F&B already has strict hygiene regulations and a heightened awareness of handwashing, cross-contamination ensuring guest areas are maintained and presented in a cleanly state. The guidelines for dealing with Covid-19 are not dissimilar, and all staff should be reminded of their responsibilities. In line with and on top of usual bar/eatery workplace habits, it is important that anyone who is sick should withdraw from the workplace, that hand washing is frequent and thorough, any coughing or sneezing is contained in a handkerchief or elbow, and that physical contact with other people is minimised (handshakes, hugs etc.). COVID -19 is known to spread through air droplet contamination (breathing out) and through surface contamination (much like colds or flu), so it is recommended to seat people in open areas, especially outside where there is less re-circulated air and to ensure surfaces are disinfected preferably after each setting and the wider area after each service, including high traffic items like door handles, seating etc. There is no definitive information as to the time the virus will survive on surfaces, but estimates vary from a few hours to many days.
At this time there are no reported disruptions to supply chain, except perhaps with toilet paper, and there is no reason or direction to cease or reduce trading hours. This is a very difficult time, and undoubtedly the worst is yet to come, but we can work together to be sensible, calm and reduce the risk for our staff and our guests.