Most F&B industry predictions might be guesswork at the moment. But at MEC2 we think it’s accurate to say that working together and recognising the importance of protecting customers, keeping staff healthy and being generous whenever we can is the way forward in a crisis, and probably best practice in less troubled times too.
F&B industry and covid19
The food and beverage industry is always hardest hit in times of trouble and 2020 has turned out to be the gold standard of troubled times. Few could have predicted the devastating effects of COVID19 or the speed at which it impacted on every aspect of the industry worldwide. In the UK alone, over 1.4 million employees were furloughed by April 2020 – less than a month into national lockdown.
By May 2020, 52% of small to medium hospitality businesses in the US were either temporarily, or permanently, closed. Summer 2020 saw job losses upwards of 25% across the international travel industry. And - even with ‘staycations’ and ‘holistays’ working flat out to boost the holiday market in Europe and the US – the Organisation for Economic Control and Development (OECD) reported a fall of 60% in international tourism.
Rising to the challenge in a crisis
But even faced with an uncertain future and seemingly constant shifts in rules and regulations, the global F&B industry has largely risen to the challenge of COVID19. Instead of playing it safe and hoping for the best, businesses have rediscovered the power of creative thinking.
A firm focus on staff and customer safety has become the new norm. And a willingness to adapt quickly and effectively in response to change would seem to be the difference between surviving and thriving during the global health crisis.
Build a buzz, but think long term
Of course, the media has jumped all over colourful content about restaurants designing individual ‘socially distanced’ customer greenhouses or even setting up safely spaced tables in flower meadows. But, while quirky, pop-up concepts are good to build a buzz and start conversations it’s important to be aware of subtler revolutions too. Because new directions in R&D, responsive product design and even changes in the way staff are recruited and retained are likely to have a positive industry impact in the long-term. And there’s no doubt hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, venues now see staff safety as a priority across working environments and public spaces.
Modular workstations with smaller footprints and greater flexibility are fast becoming the safely distanced norm in professional kitchens. And pro-active businesses are now consciously choosing products with hygiene built-in at the design and manufacturing stages.
Cooperative MEC2 leading by example
Compassion and collaboration might be less tangible responses to the current health crisis, but at MEC2 we firmly believe working together and supporting each other is the way forward for the global F&B industry right now, and going forward.
In our case, that means supplying all tabletop surfaces and all furniture, made of high-pressure laminate veneer, with a special antibacterial protective layer. And then providing these surfaces to customers at no extra charge, with no minimum order requirement and no time limit. Our antibacterial surfaces are safe for food contact while destroying 99.9% of the microbiological load within only 24 hours. The bacteria tested are predominantly those common in the health or food sectors. The effectiveness of the product is certified by ISEGA. And we’re proud to use inorganic, non-toxic additives, which are also free of nanoparticles.
Because most F&B predictions are just guesswork at the moment, we think it’s accurate to say that recognising the importance of protecting customers, keeping staff healthy and being generous when and where we can is the way forward in a crisis and probably best practice, even in less troubled times.
100% Genuine. Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come and whose value lies in its use. That’s what MEC2 intends to do with livecookintable®. MEC2 is a design and engineering company.
The design methodology ensures that each part functions perfectly without impinging on another. We see simplicity as the ultimate sophistication whilst ensuring each and every product is long-lasting, sustainable and future-oriented.
Future trends are what inspires MEC2. Our design inspiration ensures that our clients are always one step ahead.