It's disturbing to think that most of the support people in the restaurant business chose to do so in pursuit of economic freedom.
What this implies is that they are most probably familiar with what it means to be vulnerable, and to live under the weight of a profession that doesn’t value you or your labor. It’s employees who are already the hardest hit. Hospitality service workers may lose their jobs in the next few months, possibly weeks if we don't continue to support our local restaurants.
Singapore for now is just holding in there, but other cities across the Expat Choice network are already suffering such as Manila, Phuket, Bali, and countries including India, Africa, USA and Australia...they have it bad. Lock down is already in place and more cities and countries are going into lockdown - rapidly
This wave of closures and layoffs also exposes the shaky ground on which the restaurant industry has been built, founded as it is on the backs of hourly workers living pay check to pay check, many of whom lack health care and paid sick leave. The coronavirus seems to be unveiling this ugly underbelly of the restaurant industry — the fact it’s often built on exploitative labor, (region specific) - often under compensated and underappreciated. Look at what is happening in India. It saddens me to think of the millions of people left out on the street, with no daily income to feed themselves, or their families. It's shocking what humanity is experiencing. This is a seismic shift in the social structure of our world as we knew it, the economy of our world is reliant on its people, without its people what do we have. Nothing.
Moving our thoughts back for a moment to our hospitality champions, without dine-in customers and alcohol sales, most businesses can’t make their finances work, let alone keep on employees. During "The Age Before Coronavirus", delivery and pickup was a nice supplement for most full-service restaurants. Possibly 5, or 10, or 15 percent of revenue, but when dine-in goes away, it leaves a huge hole.
What was an eye opener for me in my travels across Asia pre-corona lockdown was the grace, generosity and kindness with which the entrepreneurs in the F&B industry approached "The Age of Coronovirus".
The first thing you hear, almost every time, is ‘it’s not money that matters, "I wanna figure out how to keep people safe and my employees from being at risk." That's a generous and caring human instinct stepping in. I honestly believe this is what people do in tough times to get each other through. Share the love, be powerful, be forgiving and be helpful. Where this will all end up is up to use. Just Stay Home! Order In whenever possible and support your local restaurants who have served you tirelessly for weeks, months if not years - so at least some of them survive.
This article was inspired by recent posts appearing in eater.com