IIt’s the nature of hospitality stories that they choose ready-made metaphors. Thus, a puff that can be torn down by regulations that have just entered the hospitality sector can be described as a split sauce or, as it were, a whole dog dinner.
Last weekend, to soften its rebellious deputies in part, the government released evidence used to justify these restrictions: the closure of all three-tier pubs and restaurants and the rule that only second-tier places could provide food for alcohol, forcing the closure of all pubs with no food supply. It was a thin document, mentioning that pubs and restaurants without crowded distances are crowded places where virus transmission is likely. He noted the super-widespread events in bars and clubs in South Korea and Japan. However, from July onwards it had nothing to do with transmission rates in places that used strict control measures for infections in the UK.
He certainly did not even mention a study by an economist at the University of Warwick that suggested a link between rising infection rates and the government’s “food aid” scheme during August. Again, it’s a special job. Only a correlation between rainy days is claimed, not a cause link, that fewer people could eat and lower infection rates. UKHospitality, a survey conducted by the industry’s trade body, also contradicts this by reporting low numbers of infections among restaurant staff and customers.
Despite the government’s flawed evidence, it gave the industry something tangible to argue about. Social media emphasized that chefs and restaurants make their businesses safe in Covid. But these court arguments were quickly pushed to the margins, driven by journalists who were looking for a little lightness, when the exchanges turned into a pleasant story about what was really an important meal. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove proposed the Scottish egg. He certainly thought it was a great opportunity, establishing his “man of the people” credentials. Or maybe not. The excellent store Fortnum & Mason denounces the Scottish egg as food for aristocrats traveling from Georgia from London to Great West Road to their country seats. The perfect opportunity, then, for a government headed by an old Etonian.
“It was annoying,” says chef Tom Kerridge, who owns several pubs and has recently directed a BBC documentary series about the pandemic challenges facing the sector. “You made Michael Gove laugh and joke, which showed a complete lack of respect for the industry, which employs three million people. It’s not a matter of laughter.” du.
The new rules have shed light on how the business and drinking class outside the home continues. In fact, they said that if you were bourgeois enough to want to eat something, you could be as bladdered as you wanted. But if you were a few who wanted to go to the bar for a snack, you might forget. As Kerridge puts it: “People who follow these rules live in nice houses with big gardens. Wet-guided pubs [with no food offering] they are the only space for many people to get out of cramped accommodation. “
As a curiosity, the phrase “a hearty meal” was quietly left out of the guidelines early last week after the legal precedent was set. According to Journal of LawIn a 1965 case, the judges found that the sandwiches that went with them were enough for the two men to continue boating in a hotel “during dinner time.” The phrase, therefore, is placed “table meal,” which means “a meal a person eats at a table”. But no, apparently that table is in a pub and you just have a snack. But it’s great in a theater where there are nice people who can be trusted.
Hospitality was welcomed to include an extra hour in local time after the last service at 10pm, but otherwise the humor was bittersweet. “The rules are arbitrary and unfair,” an old restaurant told me, “especially when they’re making an effort to survive a lot of business.” Restrictions require people to eat only with their household members. “If you’re struggling to survive and you think the rules are unfair, are you going to follow them or tighten them and conclude that it’s not your job to be a police officer?”
That is the right question. Control of Covid-19 regulations must be done by authorization. However, these rules on the hospitality sector have been so poorly written that this permit has been tested. We enjoyed the weird spectacle of the cops walking through the bars inspecting the waiters, and they decided to find out if a pizza, a cake or, yes, a Scottish egg is counted as dinner, like them again your mother. It’s confusing for diners, it’s a waste of police time, and most of all, it’s very unfair to the hospitality industry that has thrown up with every fist thrown by this pandemic.