Almost 30,000 restaurant job losses are in this report, but the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused many more
A new report from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) shows that restaurant job losses rose by 163 percent in 2020, with almost 30,000 reported to the CRR across the restaurant sector. Closures also increased by 76 percent, up from 922 to 1,621, according to the Guardian.
The CRR chose to highlight casual dining closures — like those at Pizza Express, Byron Burger, Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia, and Frankie and Benny’s. While the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on retail footfall contributed significantly to these losses, it wasn’t the root cause. Overexpansion funded by private equity debt inflated these groups into unstable bubbles that just needed a pin — in this case, a major downturn in business caused by a pandemic — to burst them. These are the casual dining chains that have shed restaurants like snakes shed skin during the crisis, able to bounce around debt and reemerge in some form, while independent businesses have to wait until their last hopes are extinguished to close for good.
This focus on reported jobs also tells another story — that many thousands more closures and jobs will have gone unreported. 297,000 jobs were lost in accommodation and food services, which includes hospitality, between February and November, according to the Office of National Statistics, which draws its data from payrolls. This may be a truer picture of the scale of loss, but it is currently set to get worse. Without some kind of rent solution, the advent of a vaccine rollout will be too late for restaurants, and with tier four / tier five / look, it’s a lockdown set to last into March, restaurants are badly in need of proportionate financial support for those months. Without it, these bleak figures will only get bleaker. Happy new year! [Guardian]
And in other news...
- 2020 was a year like no other for restaurants. Here’s how the novel coronavirus pandemic changed what it meant to be a restaurant and what it meant to dine out in London.
- And how one restaurant, Ombra in Hackney, made 2020 its own.
- A collection of food industry bigwigs react to the U.K. EU Brexit trade deal. [Just-Food]
- KFC is bringing back its “Imposter” Quorn burger for January, the month when fast food companies reliant on industrial meat farming commit to changing dining habits for 1 (one) month. [Mirror]
- Good tweet:
looking forward to exactly 3 months from now when someone will tweet "Bean Dad was THIS YEAR, let that sink in" and get 100k retweets and a tv writing job out of it— abby govindan (@abbygov) January 4, 2021