I don’t know how the gastronomy industry is doing in your country, but it is safe to assume that it is suffering worldwide, along with many other sectors that rely heavily on walk-in customers. Here in Germany, the restaurants, bars cafes, and pubs were full of hope in May and June when they were allowed to re-open under strict COVID-19 precautionary measures, observing hygiene and social distancing regulations. Traffic was slow and nowhere near pre-COVID-19 times, but at least they managed to engage the public again. As summer rolled around and people were feeling less skeptical, business picked up, but you also noticed major hesitation on the part of the staff as well.
As we embark on Lockdown2, not just in Germany but several neighbouring EU countries, it is the the gastronomy that takes yet another devastating blow. Those that managed to survive the first lockdown are bracing themselves for a bumpy ride, turning their business strategies upside-down to meet the requirements. The current regulation stipulates that the business may remain open but only for take-out or delivery, which means that many of the little fast-food places have a shot of making it through.
There is one radio station in Berlin, Radio Paradiso that is going out of its way to launch a campaign to support all the businesses that offer delivery or take-out. I stand fully behind this idea, seeing that many of these small takeouts stalls in particular are family businesses, and there is always a phenomenal story behind the business. It is not just the migrants, but there are a lot of local pubs that have been around for at least 30 years or so, and have no other alternative, with many of these owners already aged and would not be in a position to start over.
So if you are stuck at home these days under yet another lockdown, keep the little delivery places in mind. It’s not something sustainable on a daily basis (at least not for me), but a number of them are also getting creative with all kinds of deals. Don’t overlook the food carts at the local markets either, or wherever your favourite one likes to set up shop.
This is not the time for individualism and selfishness. We need to rally together as a community and get through this with a collective strength. Be safe, be strong, and oder in!