- Many people all over the world are losing their jobs as the restaurant industry is closing its doors to the public due to coronavirus.
- There will need to be substantial governmental help to enable the food industry to get back on their feet.
- Fundraising websites are a useful method restaurant owners are doing to ask for help in these dire times.
COVID-19 outbreak will impact everyone in the food industry, both small and big businesses, waiters, and CEOs. Restaurant owners all around the world are forced to shut down their premises and fire thousands of people altogether. Rents and debts are piling up, and what seemed to be the strongest financial period for many in the foodservice industry has quickly become a struggle to survive.
The Financial Struggles Of The Food Industry
The food industry employs around 15.6 million people (according to the National Restaurant Association), and that is only in America, without including the supporting sectors such as farmers, grocers, deliveries, and others. The restaurant industry has a major impact on the economy, and they will have a hard time reopening after the pandemic ends without help from governments.
While restaurant industry-related job losses are increasing, many of the food world conferences and events are also being canceled and postponed preemptively. International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Expo West attract more than 80,000 attendees and will also hurt many food companies and distributors. The spreading of the coronavirus has prompted many countries to enforce rules about lockdowns and the closing of everything that is deemed non-essential.
The full extent of the financial toll is still unknown, but we know that it is going to be enormous and have a significant impact on the economy. Many restaurant owners and entrepreneurs in the food industry are setting up fundraising websites in the hope of getting help. While it is a good idea (especially for independent, smaller businesses), it might not be enough to save their businesses.
What About Old McDonald?
We are not talking about the notorious fast-food chain, but the farmworkers from all over the world. The farming and agriculture sectors need to be supported by the government because they are necessary for food security. Most of the media coverage has been focusing on big chain restaurants and public places, with less attention on farmworkers who are also experiencing big economic dangers due to coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the farming hardware is manufactured in China, which will be detrimental to the life of farmworkers. With schools being closed and farm workers forced to stay home because of their children, there would be no one to pack products for distribution. If they are not able to work, farmworkers would need to rely on charity organizations (which are already strained as it is) for financial help and well being.
What Can We Do To Help?
It is going to take much effort and time to "reopen" the food industry, and while help from the governments is necessary, there is also something we can do to help. You can support your local restaurants by making small donations to the fundraisers, buy gift certificates, and visit them to eat once the pandemic is over. If you are able, use online ordering. Let's hope that the rise of the online food ordering will help them get back on their feet. Also, do not forget to tip!