Last Friday I was sitting in a Soho restaurant with some business colleagues lamenting our impending loss of liberty in the form of London hospitality scene, for the second time this year, when it occurred to me that it isn’t bars and restaurants that are the problem, but rather it’s the government’s ham-fisted attempts to keep people safe.
Like plumbing, and I dare say plenty of other industries, hospitality is already set up to keep customers and staff safe from, amongst other things, dangerous viruses and bacteria that are always lying in wait for an opportunity to strike people down and even kill them. This is not a new thing but a fact of life when your business is serving people food and drink inside your premises.
Changing the rules to fight a foe, in this case a virus, that is already a known enemy is effectively saying that this industry and the health authorities have been barking up the wrong tree for more than a century. In the plumbing and home services industry we are the same; bad plumbing and sanitation will kill, which is why we are an essential industry and have been able to stay open for our customers throughout the emergency, during which time we have made more than 200,000 home visits without incident.
Luckily for us the government hasn’t seen fit to meddle in our business and we have been allowed to rely on our already robust systems involving sanitising areas, hands and tools, wearing masks, boot covers and clean uniforms. We have added things like electronic thermal temperature monitoring and more stringent distancing measures, but what we have done is taken our original safety model and beefed it up.
Today the chancellor has again been forced to come up with yet more rescue measures for businesses facing bankruptcy as a result of his government’s latest anti-Covid measures. But be very clear he may be the ambulance driver in this tragedy but it’s his SAGE influenced cabinet colleagues that are creating his customers, not the virus.