There will be no returning to normal
There will be no returning to normal……Sounds like, “You’ll have had your tea!”.
Well we weren’t expecting to be high fiving on 26th October but we hoped to at least be able to open. With the information we have this looks unlikely however let’s continue to live in hope.
Hope, how can you run business on HOPE! Ok we might hope for a few extra sunny weekends or the home rugby games to be winners for Scotland but hope as the plan for trading won’t pay the bills.
Victor and I’m sure many of you have thought that 16 days will not be the limit to the restrictions we face. With the FM’s “no returning to normal” statement this sadly looks very real.
We need sight of the plan! Sharing information a few days before is too damaging. The three month lockdown was at least a plan. There was universal buy in as there seemed to be a strategy and a consistent 4 nation approach. What we have now is simply too confusing and too vague.
This is tough. I’m not denying how hard this is. For our team, our suppliers and all of you. We have employed two new members of the team since we reopened. Neither would have qualified for Furlough or for the limited benefits of the Job Support Scheme. With TSC open we’ve been able to redeploy these people, which was a massive relief for all of us. Many team in many businesses will not be as fortunate to have this choice. When I write these blogs, I’m almost certain that what I’m feeling and articulating is the same as for the wider hospitality sector. I’m not just talking about our own business. If I’m moaning, I’m not moaning enough as the implications for the wider sector and for our communities is massive. My energy is a reflection of all our colleagues across the country. It’s an all nations pain. The uncertainty and fear of the unknown, regardless of experience or finances, is draining. None of us are trained for this.
Last Monday Victor and I had a day off. It wasn’t something to celebrate as we were closed at George Street and sadly closed for longer at Cannonball. We actually hid under the covers until past noon. Bed seems to be the only place that nothing is happening…… Be quiet! I’m trying to give you a laugh. But sleeping, when you can, is actually the only normal thing we can all do.
But more unknowns and the lack of being able to plan any part of our future seems such a waste and it’s debilitating for business and it’s debilitating for our community. Not only are we losing time we’re aging with the worry.
The rise in Covid cases is extremely worrying but the corresponding level of deaths, at the moment, does not seem to be anywhere near the same levels as we saw during lockdown. Is the economic and social price that we are paying with further restrictions actually more damaging? It’s estimated that 200,000 jobs could be at risk in London alone with the last restriction announcement. These are massive numbers. The ramifications of this plus the damage to our supply chain, to our High Streets and to many many families is a price I’m not sure is worth paying.
How am I feeling? My biggest worry at the moment is what will happen if Victor, the team or the family get Covid. So I apologise in advance if you feel I’m a little too Covid Police when you come to visit. I feel so fortunate that The Scottish Cafe was allowed to trade. We feel a huge responsibility to ensure we are providing a confident dining experience for all of you. We don’t have an evening menu, we don’t sell alcoholic drinks on their own and we don’t open after 8pm. So nothing to do with our name, it’s how we trade that’s allowed us to open and sadly many venues were forced to close. But being open when so many of our hospitality family are closed makes us take this responsibility even more to heart. So if it takes slightly longer to seat you and guide you through our housekeeping please be patient.
We love to see you and thank you for all your support. We appreciate all your support. Truly. Next week we’re going to put a new dessert on the menu. Truly Scrumptious in honour of you all.
Ari’s on holiday and Carla’s back for a few days so we won’t be in as much over the next 10 days. The team will look after you, probably a lot better than we do. We’re going to catch up with some sleep. It’s the normal in our lives that we all crave.
Keep well and keep safe