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Risk free? May 27, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Anyone read a piece in the IT at the weekend about how the restaurant industry is facing reopening. Or rather not in the case of many restaurants which are holding out until public sentiment is better. The measures taken suggest to me that there will be a step change – many of these are being adopted abroad and will be seen here too: temperature checks, masks handed out at doors, plastic screens and/or booths around tables and so on. But there’s a key point made by one restaurant owners which the comments BTL exhorting the economy to ‘open’ seem to completely miss or ignore:

Last weekend, chef Anita Thoma was supposed to be eating dinner at the Tannery restaurant in Dungarvan, Co Waterford as part of her hen night celebrations before her wedding at Ballyvolane House in Fermoy, Co Cork in July.

So clearly someone with an understanding of the industry. And also someone carefully examining the options in terms of other countries approaches. But:

With the dining-out landscape about to change so dramatically, some restaurateurs fear that the public will be reluctant to visit restaurants when they do reopen.

In response to a recent question posted on Twitter, asking if people would be visiting restaurants and cafes once they reopen on June 29th, a significant number of the more than 200 who commented said that they would not. Anita Thoma is among that number. “It’s too soon for me to go back into a restaurant, both as chef and as a diner – as a human being,” she says.

And as noted on here before, that’s the key factor. I’d like nothing more than to return to the once every month or two visit to a local bar/restaurant in Fairview. To me the fact workers have had jobs end with no clear point in sight as to when, if ever, they will resume is dismal in the extreme. I’d hope ever measure is taken to assist businesses to make it across the present period. And to judge from this report businesses in this particular area are working hard to make it possible for them to reopen and safely for staff and customers.

But until it is clearly safe to do so, that the risks of catching the virus are minimal, how on earth can one justify going to such premises? Going to a restaurant, or to a pub, or a social gathering has never previously carried to any significant extent the very real risk of catching a potentially life-changing illness. And all the stuff about how ‘nothing in life is risk free’ as evidenced in comments BTL is simply empty rhetoric in the face of that fact and until that is addressed rather than evaded the state of the economy is going to be fragile. Or to put it another way, you can’t force people to socialise or spend money when such risk exists. And that’s as valid an expression of freedom and autonomy as any other, arguably more so given this is about personal and collective health.


1. Joe - May 27, 2020

Smashing day today. On my lunchbreak I headed down to ABC fishing tackle shop to check out rods and reels for the mackerel. Then I went to a café by the fruit market, opposite Ormond Square, for lunch. Paninis and coffee. Some peope eating in, in small groups, fairly socially distant, but still indoors in a low-enough-ceilinged establishment. Others, including me, eating outside in the sun. I’d say it just about works safety-wise, with the numbers about the place. But that’s my layman’s inexpert assessment.

Afterwards, I headed across to Ormond Square to pay my respects at the plaque to Mr Giles, our greatest living Irishman. Eighty this year I believe. Go maire sé an céad.


sonofstan - May 27, 2020

Lovely day here too.
Took my lunch and a book to the park – everyone still just about distancing. Post Office open for the first time in two months, which is the first thing to open that hasn’t been open anyway. The Library is in the same building but still closed.


crocodileshoes - May 27, 2020

Occurs to me as someone who usually pops into a restaurant alone for lunch or a pub for a quiet afternoon pint, that the owners won’t want single table occupancy. If they’ve gone to the trouble of constructing little booths and erecting partitions, they won’t want one bloke nursing a pint and taking up a booth for an hour – and I wouldn’t blame them.


sonofstan - May 27, 2020

They might be grateful 🙂
Heard an account from a friend in Germany who went for a meal with partner on Saturday night. Plexiglass partitions between tables, waiters with masks and gloves, name, address and phone number taken when you sit down so you can be traced and masks available for trips to the loo. Can’t say it sounds fun


benmadigan - May 27, 2020

Same thing planned for Italy in coming weeks. I can see how restaurants might manage couples but what about larger groups?
There’s also the issue of how many tables will fit in with at least 1 metre of “physical distancing” and inevitable loss of earnings with fewer tables. Some town councils are giving restaurants more pavement space outside for free to help them bring up the number.
Additionally there’s the drop in customers, even if every one of the few table is always filled. And it won’t be. Italians are still pretty wary about anything more than a coffee or quick drink.
Restaurant owners from all over the country and all price ranges were saying on TV they probably won’t earn enough to make opening worth their while at present.

Liked by 1 person

2. Joe - May 27, 2020

The great man will be eighty in November.

I’m thinking of organising a twin-city tribute. I’ll organise the bash here in Dublin. Looking for someone to take on the Leeds one.


sonofstan - May 27, 2020

City’s so quiet at the moment, you’d probably be able to hear the crack of Norman Hunter’s knee from here (5 miles from Elland Rd.)


sonofstan - May 27, 2020

Hunter and Trevor Cherry both recently deceased, sadly.


Joe - May 27, 2020

Trevor Cherry too? I hadn’t heard. He was a later addition to that greatest team ever. Rest in peace.


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