Is Catering and Hospitality Ready To Scrap COVID Restrictions?

There are mixed views on the latest news from the government; from the 19th of July, should everything go to plan, many COVID-19 restrictions will be scrapped. For the catering and hospitality sector, this means you’ll no longer need to order food from an app, you’ll be able to go up to the bar instead of waiting for a waiter to visit your table, and wearing face coverings and carrying out social distancing won’t be compulsory. In other words, it’s looking like the country will be getting back to normal pretty soon.

A life without the restrictions we’re so used to looks daunting to many, but for others, it’s the day they’ve all been waiting for to fully embrace a life after the pandemic and keep their businesses running as they once were, getting back to a normal way of life. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, there is a divide in opinion.

We recently ran a poll on our social media channels and found that 34% of the followers that interacted were not in favour of the scrapping of many restrictions, with 66% of these people saying that they agree with the government on the easing of restrictions completely. We wanted to discuss this in further detail. Is catering and hospitality ready to scrap COVID restrictions completely?

Are restrictions holding us back?

We all want to get back to normal, and with the vaccine roll-out being successful, are extra restrictions preventing us from getting back to normal? Again, views are mixed with some believing restrictions aren’t necessary if we use our own judgement and ‘common sense’, and have two doses of a vaccine, but others still think the easing of restrictions is too soon, especially with new variants and the increase of cases.

Do we really miss the hustle and bustle?

From fighting for a table at your favourite restaurant to not getting seen at the bar, there’s certainly some advantages to current restrictions, and many people seem to prefer the calmness and safety these restrictions bring. However, this also comes with its disadvantages. For example, many people book tables in advance for those not accepting walk-ins, and it can be near impossible to get a table for the date you want, or even if you just feel like an impromptu meal out. Inconveniences like this can even put people off wanting to visit a bar/restaurant, which is bad news for many businesses.

People need to save their businesses

If there is a way people can keep businesses afloat, many will do it. They’re happy to scrap restrictions if people can continue to use common sense. Restaurant and bar owners put everything they’ve got into their businesses – keeping their establishment going is important and a way of life, so the government’s decision has come as a relief. Many believe saving a business with no restrictions and common sense can be better than losing a business with increased levels of restrictions.

Will there be a surge in cases?

It’s probably in the back of everyone’s minds (and at the forefront of others) that scrapping restrictions at this time is going to cause COVID cases to soar once again.The mingling of people in bars and restaurants at busy times in particular is likely to increase cases, but by taking the the right precautions, there should be no reason why can’t attempt a life as normal.

What are your thoughts? Are you happy to scrap restrictions?

With so many different things to think about, there are many different thoughts amongst those in the industry when it comes to scrapping restrictions. Whatever your thoughts are, ensure you still take those ‘common sense’ procedures to keep your staff and your customers safe, and we’ll be well on our way to business as we once knew it!

Can we help? Here at Swift, we have the team available to get your kitchen, bar and dining areas not only looking the part, but designed in a way that keeps everyone as safe as possible going forward. Give us a call to book an appointment: 0121 505 4001

Designing A Safe Catering Environment

It’s been a year like no other with many foodservice providers having to dramatically change the way they work to stay safe. With new measures from the government being enforced this year, commercial kitchens have not only had to cease trading for some months, but also change their daily routines to keep both staff and customers safe.

To ensure your kitchen, front of house and dining areas are as safe as possible, now is the time to start thinking about the long term. How can you design a safe catering environment which not only keeps business running smoothly, but also helps staff and customers to feel at ease when dining in or taking food away? Here are just some of the things you should keep in mind for a COVID-safe environment, as well as for general safety too.

Equipment upgrades and maintenance

So many kitchens have been closed for long periods of time this year, so to ensure you continue to provide quality food and service, you may need to consider new equipment. Research the best catering equipment for your establishment and upgrade your kitchens if needed. Take a look at our range of combi oven and refrigeration products for a little inspiration!

However, if you’re not at a stage where you can do so, there are other options to keep your equipment going. If you’re happy with your current equipment set up, having a service/maintenance check is essential to ensure everything is running smoothly. No matter how old your equipment is, a check can identify any potential fault risks or early component breakdown. More information about our Service and Maintenance can be found on our website.

Invest in hygiene products

It’s now compulsory to have sanitising stations in your establishment for both staff and customers, but it’s also crucial that you thoroughly deep clean all your equipment and surfaces after use. Ensure you stock up on sanitiser and cleaning products, and that you have a clear cleaning rota in between customers or at certain times of the day. Keeping on top of a cleaning schedule will help to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 and will only enhance general cleaning processes you should already have in place.

Waste management

Reviewing your current waste management process should also be a top priority when designing a safe catering environment. For generic kitchen safety, all waste should be disposed of in a timely manner. Food waste should be removed from preparation areas and equipment at regular intervals. Waste should also be stored safely until it is taken away. It’s also important to ensure any PPE is disposed of properly after use (if disposable) or washed after each use.

Layout and distancing

With social distancing rules in place for the entirety of the UK, you must now ensure your establishment abides by these guidelines. Creating one way systems or enforcing stricter measures which prevent diners from moving around, for example, will help to maintain a safer environment. If you can, organise dining areas with greater spaces in between tables, and use signs and arrows to ensure customers understand your new rules.

Design a safe catering environment with Swift

Here at Swift, we know exactly what makes a great, safe working environment for staff, and how to ensure all customers feel safe and comfortable. If you’re in need of our expertise in the design and installation of catering equipment for your commercial kitchen, or your equipment needs an up to date service/maintenance check, then get in touch with the team today by calling 0121 505 4001. We’re always happy to help!

How To Minimise Running Costs In Your Commercial Kitchen

Trying to stay afloat in a sea of competitors whilst also carrying out essential daily tasks could mean you’re spending much more than you’d like to when running your kitchen. It’s natural to want to make some changes to reduce these costs, but finding out where to start can be a task in itself. Here at Swift, we understand the importance of getting the costing balance just right in your kitchen and to prevent bumping up your restaurant prices to cope with your outgoings.

To keep both you and your customers happy, we wanted to share with you some tips to help minimise those commercial kitchen running costs and increase profit margins.

Maintain or upgrade kitchen equipment

If you’re an established company with years of service under your belt, you may have been using the same kitchen equipment and appliances for a while. Scheduling in a maintenance and service check for this equipment can ensure things are running as smoothly as possible and can help prevent any future breakdowns which could be detrimental to the successful running of your kitchen.

If your equipment isn’t running as it should, then there is the possibility of it using more energy than it should to function. The more energy it uses, the more money you’ll be spending on running costs, which in turn, can be harmful to the environment. You may want to consider some equipment upgrades in your kitchen to prevent this. Modern appliances and equipment are generally much more energy efficient. Speak to us if you need any advice.

Create an audit schedule for equipment

Whether your equipment is old or new, you should create an audit schedule for your kitchen equipment and stick to it. Monitoring the performance of your equipment at regular intervals helps to prevent problems before they arise, giving you the time to fix it before it’s too late.

Budget correctly

It can be very tempting to deal with problems as they arise, especially when your business keeps you busy day in, day out, but for a successful kitchen, you need to be ahead of the game. Whether this is for refurbishing equipment, keeping money spare for new equipment when needed, or even when buying in produce for your commercial kitchen, budgeting can be a lifesaving tactic to keep your kitchen running when you have other things going on.

Reducing kitchen waste

One of the most common ways restaurants spend unwanted amounts of cash is due to food waste, both from buying in too much stock, and from food being sent back by diners. Consider reviewing portion sizes as well as the stock you have delivered. In most cases, there are changes that can be made to solve this problem and reduce the amount you spend too.

Allow Swift to help you create a smooth running kitchen

We understand just how important your commercial kitchen is, which is why we pride ourselves on our 24 hour, seven days a week, emergency coverage, so whenever you need us, just pick up the phone. Call us on 0121 505 4001.

Framework Awards

ESPO & TUCO awards

Awards are important, it shows us as a business that we are doing something right. That is why we are especially pleased to be on both the ESPO and TUCO buying frameworks. It demonstrates to potential clients that we have been vetted and have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in all our areas of operation. Our Accreditations such as REFCOM, Gas Safe, Constructionline, CHAS, Safe Contractor and others show our clients and potential clients that we invest in our systems, our staff and our business. We have a strong business ethos of “Continuous Improvement” and we believe this will sustain us and help us deliver on our growth and value as support to our customers.

New Family Addition

New family additions

The Swift team are pleased to announce new additions to our junior leagues with babies being born. Nathans family have been blessed with another daughter. And Roshni from our Office Admin team has had her first child. All are doing well and the entire Swift team wishes them well.

Swift Rebrand

New vehicle livery, uniforms etc.

When your business has been running since 1973 sometimes it’s due for a makeover. We recognize that Swift Maintenance 1973 Ltd doesn’t showcase all that we have to offer as a Group of companies. So we have invested in new uniforms that give a smarter appearance, new livery on the Engineer vehicles that showcase our range of services and presents a sharper company image. We have also revitalized our Business Cards to better reflect the group and branding.

Investing in Training

Swift has recently invested in training for many of its team members to assist in helping our customer service.

We believe that Training is crucial to our ethos of “Continuous Improvement” and that to keep up with modern business methods, Industry changes and maintain our reputation as “Specialists” we must continue to invest in this area.

We are always keen to send our engineers on Training days with our Manufacturers and provide them with the best, up to date methods of working with different suppliers. Our Office staff are encouraged to ask for additional training as they deem necessary to their development and for the benefit of our customers.

The Sales Team are also very proactive in regularly meeting with representatives for our Supplier base and have recently been to visit Hobart UK, Falcon Food Service, Meiko, TRUE Refrigeration and Lincat with more visits planned for the future. We actively encourage our suppliers to include us in their Marketing plans and regional development. We also employ the services of a very talented business coach to keep us focused and sharp.