19th July Freedom Day: What It Means for Hospitality

At the start of June, hospitality venues in England were preparing to take the final step in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Then Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week extension to COVID-19 restrictions–but the end is in sight with the confirmation of 19th July as the new “freedom day.”

The PM has announced that all restrictions will be lifted on this day: no more social distancing, table service, or capacity restrictions. But is the damage already done after having been delayed from the 21st of June? Or will Freedom Day bring renewed support for the hospitality industry that can get it back on its feet?

Thousands of Jobs Are at at Risk

According to UKHospitality, a one-month delay to the end of lockdown restrictions will cost the sector a whopping £3 billion in sales and put roughly 300,000 jobs at risk. This includes those who are still on furlough due to the pandemic.

News like this will no doubt be a blow to operators, many of whom are already battling the staffing crisis that continues to plague the hospitality industry. With that in mind, it’s clear that if employers want to attract the best talent, they need to do more to stand out. 

If you’re struggling to fill your open vacancies, why not take advantage of our bespoke software solution? Carri Chat and Apply, our AI-powered conversational ambassador, helps brands acquire the most suitable candidates for the job in record time. That means your managers can focus all of their attention on reopening this summer.

Night-time Economy Businesses Will Struggle

Nightclubs are one of the few venues that have been forced to remain closed since March 2020, so it’s safe to say that when the delay was announced, operators were devastated. The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) found that 95% of businesses had already made financial commitments and logistical preparations ahead of the 21st June reopening. 

Many have not survived, some are on a financial cliff edge, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, a huge pool of talent has been swept away and others have been left to suffer extreme financial hardship.

Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA

The NTIA’s survey of 300 night-time economy businesses revealed that 1 in 4 venues won’t survive longer than four weeks without additional support from the government. This highlights the need to manage operational costs before the 19th July. 

When nightclubs finally are ready to re-open, they need a plan to operate as efficiently as possible to make up for lost time. Our intelligent scheduling module, empowers managers to effectively plan labor and reduce expenses to an absolute minimum, so once night time businesses can reopen they know they’re keeping the budget in check. How can one platform do this? Our scheduling system increases labour efficiency by using smart forecasting that takes everything from historical sales data to weather into account to create your schedules. By showing the real-time labour cost projections that factor in over time and compliance costs, operators can be sure that they’re keeping schedules to budget.

No Restrictions; No Masks

While many in hospitality may be pleased that table service and limited dining is over, the issue of masks will continue to be controversial. After the 19th July, the only remaining regulations will be a requirement to isolate after testing positive for Covid-19, plus restrictions on international travel and mandatory social distancing at airports and other ports.

This means that people in people-facing industries will once again be exposed to people moving around and interacting without masks, unless businesses themselves choose to enforce masks as a rule. 

To mitigate this risk of staff constantly isolating, they have also announced that all under 40s should have both jabs by the end of September, which will mean if they are traced as a contact they will not need to isolate but will need to test themselves daily, with this coming into effect on the 16th August. 

To give your staff that extra piece of mind, our Employee Health Check Platform allows your employees to log symptoms results prior to the employee entering the workplace. If an employee fails a health check or arrives to work without proper protective equipment, managers will be alerted so they can send the employee home.

Technology as a Long-term Solution

As lockdown restrictions continue to damage the hospitality industry, many need a digital solution to attract staff, reduce costs and manage operations. That’s where our convenient scheduling tool can help.

Harri ensures you have the appropriate number of employees in place to deliver a successful service and ultimately maximise sales. It even provides critical data including labour costs per person and staff availability. Harri can assist you with everything from hiring and onboarding, to workforce compliance training. Because flexible schedules are high on hospitality candidates’ wishlists, a smarter scheduling platform enables managers to offer schedules that fit employees’ needs while meeting workplace demands. 

Want to learn more about our solutions? Simply head to our homepage and request a demo! We’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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