The restaurant industry has been the hardest hit by lockdown

Many businesses have been hit hard by Covid, especially in parts of the UK where lockdown restrictions have persisted or escalated up to higher tiers, as in the case of Liverpool and Lancashire. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hardest-hit industry of all is hospitality and particularly, UK restaurants. Not only have restaurants been directly affected by Covid measures such as curfews and the need for social distancing, but they have also seen a drop in numbers from worried customers who prefer to shield or to remain at home where the risk of contracting the virus is far lower.

Businesses bearing the impact

The Yelp Local Economic Impact Report (September 2020) found that it was both retail businesses and restaurants that most bore the brunt of Covid lockdown restrictions. By the end of August, after months of lockdown measures, 32,109 closures were recorded in the restaurant sector – and 19,590 were permanent. The highest business closures were recorded amongst brunch style restaurants, Mexican food restaurants and burger joints.

When it came to retail, the pandemic particularly affected men’s clothing, women’s clothing and gift shops, as well as tourism related shops.

Restaurants (and retail stores) which were able to pivot away from face to face operations and began to offer a delivery service were able to survive in greater numbers. In fact, many have reported a booming business as customers who once would have eaten out, now prefer to order in. Perhaps it’s no surprise when restaurant dining is currently a confusing mix of social distancing, household mixing rules, mask requirements, early curfews, and a general feeling of unease with the virus still prevalent and on the rise.

So what does this mean if you have a business in the restaurant or retail sectors, which have been so badly hit. The answer may lie in pivoting your mode of retail so that you can deliver to customers. If you can sell online via your own website or by listing on a local aggregator site (such as Deliveroo or Shocal), then you can lower your immediate costs by potentially losing – or reducing your physical front-of-house retail premises, at least for the duration of the virus. Then, with the right local delivery support, you can continue to sell your food locally and to deliver it to your customers. The same retail prices can be maintained, but with the cost of delivery being mitigated by the reduced need for in-house production and service staff.

Investing for your business future

Keen to invest in your restaurant business and to ensure it survives the ongoing pandemic? We offer loans of £10,000 to £150,000 for periods of six months to two years – and for any business purpose. Simply fill out a short online form and we’ll make a fast decision – and the funds can be in your bank account within just 24 hours. Even better, there are no upfront fees to pay, and no charges if you decide to repay your loan early. Forget face to face appointments and slow processes – apply now in a few minutes with Century Business Loans and get your loan funds within 24 hours.

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