1. Stay aware of regulatory changes

Reduced travel, social distancing, mandatory capacity and avoiding gatherings are hitting venues hard.

  • If you’re in a city with forced shutdowns, change your schedule during the shutdown.
  • If you’re in a city with mandatory restrictions, reconfigure your availability and your floor plan.
  1. Support your staff

With only delivery and takeout orders, you’ll have a shift in staffing needs and staff will be concerned.

  • Share unemployment and financial aid resources with your staff members.
  • Preventive maintenance, make clear that if anyone feels unwell they should not come to work.
  • Start a GoFundMe or other relief fund to support the community.
  • Have an on-call program so staff can get extra shifts if others are sick.
  • Schedule to help everyone safely and with little negative personal economic impact as possible.
  1. Adjust operations

As conditions change the impact on your business, manage your books and run your service accordingly.

  • To lower overhead change to special hours, reconfigure availability or shutdown temporarily.
  • Plan staffing changes based on recent performance and trends with the shift overview.
  • Limit purchasing; consider pausing capital expenses and simplifying your menu.
  1. Connect with customers

Make it easy for people to choose your restaurant and/or bar.

  • Stay in touch with guests who’ve already booked, call or email guests to cancel reservations.
  • Pause automated email campaigns.
  • Update booking policies to be more guest-friendly (e.g. remove credit card holds).
  • Remind guests that they can support your restaurant by buying gift cards to use in the future.
  • Inform guests of precautions you’re taking on your website and/or via email.
  • Update your profile if you change your hours or need to shut down temporarily.
  • Monitor guest feedback and respond to guest concerns across all your channels.
  1. Keep everything cleaner

Go above and beyond to protect your guests and reassure them about your hygiene efforts.

  • Free courses for staff from ServSafe about food handling precautions for takeout and delivery.
  • Increase sanitation by keeping hand sanitizer at the entrance.
  • Clean counters, handles, and bathrooms more frequently and thoroughly.
  • Discourage food sharing by changing shared or family-style dishes to individual portions.


1. Decrease in brick & mortar retail. Online retail has undercut traditional shopping by dint of fiscal avoidance, sidestepping urban centre rent and rates and achieving economies of scale. But in addition, the economy of things has been on the wane, as the younger generation, many of whom have given up aspiring to own their own homes or stuff to fill them with, have sought experiences rather than material assets.
2. Reduced interest in on-premise alcohol consumption, for reasons which include faith, health, peer pressure, and “premiumisation” as GenZ is going out less but trading up to top brands and products so as to curate (and Instagram) their night out.
3. Growth in home entertainment, video streaming, delivery services and virtual restaurants. Smoking bans in venues, cost savings, online dating, convenience of staying home, and safety from assault and sexual predators.
4. Gentrification harms the social economy, through regulatory clampdowns on urban nightspots via complaints, higher rents for venues, and the disappearance of independent and creative operators.
5. Austerity lowered the amount spent in the leisure economy. People go out less, consume before they do with pre-s/pre-drinking/pre-loading by policy makers, causing problems for public services in city centres, and reducing the income of venues.


1. Closing leisure businesses, staff furloughed, rental debts and mortgages building, and insurers fleeing.
2. Businesses and customers will be cash-poor
3. Actual and perceived safety of venues stands in inverse proportion to their viability.
4. Physical distancing will reduce income. the greater the density within venues, the greater the income, the greater the risk.
5. Mitigation measures such as staff in masks, screens between tables; to protect their staff from illness and themselves from legal action


1. IRL connections. High-culture is protected, popular-culture is worth of protection
2. Promote a sustainable Social economy best practices
3. Planning for social economy to trade over more hours and larger footprint
4. Develop public infrastructure to visit safely, efficiently and cost-effectively.


First wave: risk avoidance; lockdown, essential services
Second wave: social venue response; pickup/delivery service
Third wave: nightlife advocacy; night-mayor or associations
Fourth wave: government response; Grants and taxes/fees deferred
Fifth wave: planning for re-opening; physical distancing, sanitation, mitigation measures

1. Businesses allowed to re-open; with regulatory controls
2. Control capacities effectively through customer seating floor plans
3. Controls on entrance/exit, time-limited visits
4. Staff mitigation measures; masks and gloves, food prep stations, kitchen mechanization, sanitized ventilation, frequent disinfection
5. Customer Mitigation measures; entry procedures, temperature at door, Sanitizer stations, digital menus, cashless and contact less payments
6. Self-regulation; compliance documentation and audits

1. Venues must expand operations; early evening sittings, open-air seating, table-service, reservations, restroom ques
2. Public transport distancing enforcement; sidewalk leisure uses
3. Public realm; street scenes, free leisure activities, public-private corporate sponsorship’s
4. break down rigid policy structures; drinking occasions are so multi-various that a monolithic policy is liable to frustrate operations
5. local government should reflect the public’s social economy; positive planning, investment encouragement, social marketing, public realm improvements
6. “15-minute city” money earned locally stays locally; support the promotion of local supply lines & labor through community retail, services and leisure.
7. Measures to protect tenants of leisure venues and to protect venues from a conversion to residential uses.
8. Government, insurers and the leisure industry will need to agree to claims on business interruption policies are covered against future pandemics.
9. Provide an alternative to home entertainment; widen your customer base by taking advantage of new media to provide an effective dual income stream.
10. Public authorities need to adapt their centres and promote alternative uses such as community hubs, artists’ workshops, markets, music venues and co-ops.

Source: Instituteoflicensing.org

  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment with Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus
  • Using a drive-through window or offering curbside pick-up
  • Recommending that workers wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus
  • Practicing sensible social distancing, which could include opening only every other cash register, temporarily moving workstations to create more distance and installing plexiglass partitions between workstations.

The CDC’s recommendations for reducing stress include:

  • Limiting your consumption of news and social media about the pandemic.
  • Taking time to participate in physical exercise daily. Even within your home, you can stretch, do yoga, or follow along with an aerobic fitness routine from YouTube.
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Dedicate time to relaxation when possible and/or participate in an activity you enjoy.
  • Take time to talk with friends on the phone or through video chat/FaceTime.

These are all things you can do to look after the health of your employees and business partners as well

  • Sharing factual information about COVID-19 with your employees.
  • Offering flexible schedules.
  • Reducing workload expectations.
  • Offering paid time off/medical leave/family leave if you have the ability to.
  • Share exercising and nutrition tips/advice/assistance whenever you can.
  • Basically, support your team as best you can.


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