As returning to workplaces and a “new normal” starts to feel within our grasp, many of our catering and hospitality providers, and corporate clients who select them as their supplier, are reconfiguring spaces and planning how to make their operations viable and safe for workers and customers. I always say we like to think we’re different at Thread, and one of the reasons why is our desire to leave a lasting legacy with the people IN the organisations we work with, not only positive impacts for those leading them, and that’s about providing them with additional expertise, knowledge and confidence in what they do.

This investment in people is critical to give confidence in getting people back into workplaces and social environments, so I am delighted to see that international provider of food hygiene, health and safety advice – Common Sense Compliance – who I have worked with for many years have launched a specific training programme to give catering suppliers and corporate procurement teams confidence in the practical steps that they are taking to get operations open. They’ve developed industry specific COVID-19 policies and toolkits, and can deliver training via webinar to operational teams. And as Environmental Health Professionals, they can also review and evaluate any existing COVID-19 policies or plans you may have started developing to ensure they’re compliant – and certify them to give greater assurance. I’ve gone so far as to endorse their training, their audit and their policy review and certification services, so if you would find this valuable, contact me directly.

This is just one of the simple, effective and speedy mechanics that will help keep the hospitality industry moving and trading in line with government lifting of restrictions as they happen.  Some others I have found inspiring are:

  • The Grand Outdoor Café campaign – to encourage landlords and governments to be flexible on licencing and demise regulations to enable operators to use outdoor space to enable greater social distancing and optimise capacity (and profitability) for food & beverage operators.
  • Designer Deliveries – with chefs like Adam Handling initiating his “Hame” delivery service of high end dishes that travel better than some of his restaurant concepts but meet the expectations of his diners, will we see greater flexibility in future from the Michelin and premium dining market? Gymkhana, Hakkasan and Hide are all offering similar take out options already, who will follow….
  • Contactless egg and milk vending machines at local farms – they’ve been around since long before the outbreak but have come into their own in recent weeks; I hope that noticing the difference in quality will encourage locals to continue to source this way regularly.
  • Our local Warwickshire Gin company adding hand sanitiser to its production line – diversifying to support the challenges in demand, and benefit from a new revenue stream while out of home alcohol sales are at their lowest.
  • Creation and sending of “care packages” to friends and family – from craft breweries to George & Joseph Cheesemongers Self Isolation Survival Kit – I am sure additional revenue streams for some businesses will continue long after the pandemic has stabilised.