5 Impacts of COVID on Australian Restaurants & How EzyClean Soak Tanks Can Help

Everyone loves a comeback story, but it’s one thing to witness one and another to be part of one. A return to pre-COVID normalcy has demanded Australian business and society to go through its own comeback stories. The restaurant industry being no exception. Kitchen and waitstaff, managers, owners, deliverers, suppliers, and not least of all, customers have all had to undergo a period of adaptation to tackle the challenges that COVID has, and still poses to them. Sadly, for some businesses, these challenges have been too steep to continue operating. Those which have successfully overcome them are impacted with lasting effects. In no particular order, here are 5 impacts COVID has had on the Australian restaurant industry and how EzyClean Soak Tanks can help:

  1. Greater Emphasis on Cleanliness and Sanitation:

    Restaurants already risk both business and reputation if their hygiene standards are unsatisfactory to customers and health regulators. COVID has only amplified this to a greater degree. Hand sanitizer is now found in abundance in restaurants and food courts. PPE such as face masks, previously reserved for those directly handling food, are now the norm for all staff. Moreover, despite COVID being an invisible, airborne disease, a general heightening of sensitivity to hygiene has led the public to be more scrutinizing towards cleanliness overall. This is evident by the widespread application of more rigorous cleaning regiments. This in turn has required staff to dedicate more time to cleaning at the expense of other duties. Therefore, a restaurant’s success post-pandemic is reliant on dedicating enough of its staff’s time to meet these heightened hygiene standards.

  1. Smaller Staff Numbers:

    It’s as if staff now spending more time cleaning wasn’t enough of a challenge by itself. Restaurants now find themselves having to operate with less of them. Capacity limits at the onset of the pandemic were only the beginning. During lockdowns, operating with fewer staff was more manageable, as restaurants were only serving take out or delivery. Currently, as table service has become available again, restaurants have struggled with staff shortages for a new variety of reasons.

    A problem particular to Australia is that temporary immigrants such as students or gap-yearers constituted much of the casual workforce, providing a steady supply of wait and kitchen staff. This has been most inconvenient, as the country has spent virtually two years without such visitors.

    The Omicron variant has also affected the domestic workforce. Its highly contagious nature has led to an explosion of cases in recent months, forcing many workers to stay home. This situation is not likely to improve quickly. An expected increase in infections is expected for winter, as is generally the rule for flu-like diseases. It is also possible that a new variant capable of reinfection may emerge and prolong this problem. As a result, a key factor for post-pandemic success for restaurants is the ability to operate with fewer staff than before.

  1. Increase in Digital Ordering Services:

    As an adaptation to the previous impact, restaurants have been replacing certain processes with a digital service. This is a popular and effective method to reduce the number and the tasks required of waitstaff. A common example of this is the ability to order from a digital device. Either the customer’s own or the restaurant’s. Some have even turned to such novelties as robotic servers, though which may remain as mere novelties, at least signify an openness to, and a ready supply of innovations. For a yet uncertain post-COVID future, these innovations may be crucial to the survival of not only individual restaurants, but the restaurant industry at large.

  1. Delivery Has Become Ubiquitous:

    Of all the services a restaurant can offer, home delivery has been an important factor for success during lockdowns. Fortunately, the pre-pandemic availability of third-party delivery services such as Doordash, Menulog and UberEATS allowed restaurants to offer delivery where they may not have without them. What this has resulted in post-lockdowns is widespread familiarity with these services. Before, only a few kinds of food, such as pizza, were associated with delivery. Now, customers expect to have all varieties of food available for delivery.

    Certainly, with the near complete easing of restrictions many are eager to have the experience of dining-out again. In spite of that, there will be those who have garnered a new appreciation for the convenience of delivery. They may even opt to utilize it more frequently than before. One may say this trend has become inevitable with the advent of these ‘gig-economy’ apps, COVID or not. There is no doubt however that the pandemic has rapidly accelerated its adoption by the industry.

  1. Reduced Confidence in Supply Chain:

    Delivery to customers becoming easier to facilitate is good news. Unfortunately, on the logistical flip side, delivery of goods to businesses has, and still suffers disruptions. These disruptions are not only due to COVID too. Recent flooding and fuel price volatility have also compounded the severity of supply-chain issues. This is a difficult challenge that has no broad solution. Individual businesses will have to be resilient and adapt in their own ways as new disruptions arise.

In summary, COVID has affected all facets of restaurant operation, making an already challenging business type more demanding. Thus, restaurant owners and managers must run their venues with greater efficiency across every area of operation. The adaptations adopted by the restaurant industry have gone beyond mere increases in the speed and consistency of workers. Fundamental changes to existing processes and additions of more adaptive ones have been implemented. The rise of digital ordering and third-party delivery services respectively, are testaments to this.

How EzyClean Soak Tanks Can Help Your Business Adapt to These Impacts

So how can EzyClean Soak Tanks help? Adapting to these impacts shouldn’t end at front-of-house operations. It is already necessary for some restaurants that workers alternate between front-of-house and back-of-house tasks. With reduced staff numbers, this situation is likely to be increasingly common. Therefore, the efficiency of both is more interdependent and more important than ever. There is a common efficiency-increasing feature of the front-of-house innovations discussed in the previous section. Both convert active processes into passive ones (e.g. taking orders from customers to receiving them electronically). This frees up staff to focus on other aspects of their job.

EzyClean Soak Tanks can factor into a restaurant improving its efficiency by eliminating the need to scrub metal cookware. It too turns an active process into a virtually passive one. Simply place your pots, pans, cutlery, chopping boards, trays, deep fry baskets and other suitable baking and cooking ware in an EzyClean Soak Tank with our proprietary biodegradable Soak Solution after a day of service. After being rinsed the morning after, they will return to their original shine with absolutely no scrubbing required. We are also proud to say that EzyClean Soak Tanks are constructed of parts supplied from and assembled in Australia. This reduces our reliance on foreign imports.

Many Australian restaurants, hotels, bakeries, pubs and clubs, hospital kitchens and catering kitchens are already enjoying the cost- and time-saving benefits of an EzyClean soak tank every day. If you would like to join them in experiencing these benefits as well, then waste no more time in saving time by contacting us here today to book a free consultation. Our technician will visit your kitchen, measure space suitability and provide more information and a quote. Act now and give your venue the needed edge for success in a post-COVID world.