This piece, written back in August, by Poco Director Jennifer Best highlights the resilience of the hospitality industry as they were forced to adapt to in order to survive the first lockdown back in March.
With the second lockdown now done and dusted, many areas have found themselves in Tier 3 at what would normally be their busiest time of year. This is going to be a tough winter for independent businesses so we urge you to choose local and buy independent where possible can...
Read on to discover Jennifer's experience working in one of Bristol's much loved restaurant's during the pandemic...
Although the pandemic has brought huge challenges for our business, it has also been a unique opportunity to test our resilience, which so far has proven to be pretty damn strong. We’ve very much benefited from the flexibility of being a small business with a relatively small team, and were able to flip our offering and business structure in under 48 hours, launching a new menu website and going live on Deliveroo remarkably quickly. Within a week of the government’s announcement, we’d transformed Poco from being a heaving tapas bar to a slammed takeaway burger joint! A real baptism by fire. Now we find ourselves officially permitted to reopen as a restaurant but, sadly, you won’t see us sending tapas plates out of the kitchen for some time - our space is just too small to accommodate even a 1m social distancing rule.
We are now open as a cafe/deli during the day and, in the evening, are still serving our takeaway burgers alongside our classic Poco tapas dishes for delivery and collection. The next big challenge starts here as our overheads start to creep up and our revenue dips with the increase in other restaurant openings; meanwhile, we continue to consider the confusing prospect of how we might reopen our doors while there remains a risk of a second wave of the pandemic and the reintroduction of stricter social distancing regulations.
Our position currently is that we just can’t risk it. As desperate as we are to open our doors for our beloved customers, and to feel the space filled with their energy, we’d rather do that when our staff can feel fully safe in doing their jobs and provide the warm service that we’re known for without visors or masks to hide their genuinely gleeful faces.
Director, Poco Tapas Bar