Big changes on the horizon for UK restaurants hit by lockdown

Dining experiences in the UK are already beginning to feel the effects of lockdown and many are working out ways of adjusting to life when they’re able to welcome customers to their tables again.

The UK's hospitality sector has taken a dramatic financial hit since being ordered to close in March and the sector is forecast to be one of the last to return to normal service.

Michelin-starred London-based chef Andrew Wong is having to draw on all his experience to future-proof his craft moving forward.

"What we're seeing is restaurants no longer being just kind of temples of gastronomy, where people come from all over the world, but really restaurants going out into the world to basically show,what they do."

He thinks more improvisation is on the cards for himself and fellow restaurateurs, but there is no telling how the measures may affect the dining experience.

"I think they're the restaurants who will really have to hit the numbers with their alternative services - be it take away or food cook-at-home packages. I think that there is no other way for them as a business model to really work."

Employing 2.9 million people in the UK alone, the broader hospitality sector is facing an existential threat if it cannot incorporate social distancing rules to tightly packed restaurants that serve lots of meals just to cover their costs.

Due to the narrow margins in the industry, chairman of Think hospitality group James Robson says that reducing dining space may ultimately hit restaurant's profitability.

"The majority are going to be trading sub-economically for most of this year, from what we can see. I think that almost certainly there's going to be need for a continued government support.”

Until the industry gets a chance to see what might be on the menu for the future, it’s going to have to cook up something special to make sure patrons don’t go hungry.