Return of the Restaurant?
Last month UK restaurants were permitted to reopen. After months of lockdown, what sort of state is the industry in, and how long will it take to get back on a steady footing?
Slowly but surely, restaurants are emerging from the coronavirus lockdown, introducing us to a new world of dining out, with added hygiene and distancing measures.
But some outlets aren’t able to open safely yet - some may never open again. And although small, independent outlets might seem like the most obvious victims of this crisis, no business is immune to the effects of Covid-19; as we've seen from the slew of recent closures announced by established high-street brands.
There has been government support for hospitality businesses in the shape of grants, for those who can access them; the staff furlough scheme; the dine-in VAT cut; and the new ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ meal discount scheme that launches this month. But with the situation still precarious, will it be enough?
Today, Sheila Dillon finds out how Britain’s £130-billion hospitality industry is managing its post-lockdown come-back.
We hear from Tanya Gold, food critic for The Spectator Magazine, on the reality of distanced dining; Mark Lewis from the benevolent charity Hospitality Action discusses the influx of requests for support they've seen in recent months; and Vernon Mascarenhas from fruit and veg supplier Nature's Choice talks about how the pandemic has permanently changed the supply sector.
We also follow the fortunes of the north London Nigerian tapas restaurant Chuku’s, as sibling founders Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick gear up to the big reopening.
A BBC Audio production presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.