As the hospitality industry continues to experience mass staff shortages, many have been forced to close temporarily to ensure the survival of their businesses.
The coronavirus pandemic has left many businesses understaffed and struggling to keep their doors open.
With many employees being pinged by track and trace and also contracting the virus meaning they are having to isolate, teams have been put under immense pressure to continue to provide quality service.
As a result, many have been forced to temporarily close, in some cases up to a couple of weeks, in order to ensure the safety of their staff as well as visiting customers.
Restaurants stripped of any contingency
Speaking to The Courier, of many affected businesses includes Kitschnbake which is located in Newport-on-Tay.
Mary-Jane Duncan from the popular cafe, said: “The cafe was due to open in between Christmas and New Year. However it quickly became apparent that this wouldn’t be possible due to the amount of staff who were told they’d been in close contact with someone testing positive.
“As such, we made a heavy hearted decision to remain closed until the new year rather than offer a greatly reduced service or put the remaining staff under more pressure.
“The financial ramifications, yet to be calculated, will be tough as staff will need to be paid annual leave and almost two years of dealing with Covid restrictions has stripped us of any contingency/cushion.
“We have yet to receive confirmation of further grants promised to hospitality businesses. Hopefully with ongoing support of our customers we’ll be able to bounce back.”
Closures over the festive break
Other restaurateurs including the owners of Powmill Milk Bar and Gift Shop in Kinross also had no choice but to close their pizza shack due to staff shortages over the festive break.
Further to this, an advertisement for new staff including front of house and kitchen staff was posted in January to try and recover from their losses in the past year.
Seafood restaurant Tailend which has premises in Dundee and St Andrews was also affected by staff shortages and had to close its Dundee venue on Christmas Eve due to staff members being in contact with those who tested positive and had to isolate.
As a result the Tailend had to cancel all of their Christmas Eve orders due to the inability to produce the orders they had for the day.
Potential risk of staff overworking
Another restaurant affected by staff shortages is the Olive Tree Takeaway in Perth.
They took the decision to close during the day time and focus on their evening takeaway.
Audrey Maestri, owner of the venue says the restrictions and lack of staff has really impacted the business.
She said: “We are in the same boat as everybody else and it has been hard to carry on trading. With the new restrictions introduced in December it affected us big time.
“We had many afternoon teas cancelled and were probably down two thirds compared to our normal Christmas season.
“Olive Tree was closed twice in the summer and has been closed on the odd day because of staff shortages. We don’t want to overwork the staff we still have.”
Only operating in the evenings since November for takeaway, Audrey is hoping to potentially look to open during the day around summer, providing she can employ and retain the staff.
She added: “It’s not just about getting the staff, it’s about getting staff you can leave on their own for the takeaway.”
With the current restrictions on the hospitality industry venues have taken a more substantial hit recently with cancellations, lack of diners visiting their premises and a lack of confirmed support in place to help them.