The combination of the easing of lockdown restrictions, some springtime sunshine and the promise of enjoying a pint in a beer garden has allowed the struggling hospitality industry to finally thrive this past week after months of having to remain closed.
Brits have made the most of their newfound freedom by flocking to restaurants to dine al fresco, with Google data revealing that searches for ‘outdoor dining near me’ are up 450% this past week*.
With this massive influx of customers comes a much higher demand from hospitality workers across the UK, with Solita Restaurants revealing that some of their staff across their six venues walked up to 30,000 steps per day in the first week of opening, ten times more than the 3,000 the average Brit walks*.
One hospitality worker’s step count, tracked on their iPhone, on the day restaurants reopened
These whopping step counts are a product of restaurants being jam packed with back-to-back bookings and that tables being outdoors makes for a longer walks for wait staff to make journeys to and from the kitchen and bar.
Solita’s Group General Manager, Eddie Kirby, said: “Here at Solita, we’re extremely fortunate that each of our six sites across the UK have outdoor areas, so have been able to begin trading again from April 12th. Our bookings have been flying in and it’s beyond great to finally have our industry back once more.
“The large number of bookings, combined with the fact that customers can currently only dine outside, makes for a hefty number of steps that myself and the rest of the floor teams take each day. It can be a hard graft, but the staff are thrilled to be back doing what they love after months of being at home furloughed.
“Many people often overlook the fact that working in a restaurant can be a physical job, but every drink carried, dish served, and table cleaned really adds up when you’re racking up 30,000 steps a day.”
Parent company of Solita, Shoot the Bull UK’s CEO, Chris Harrison, said: “What industry leaders in hospitality need to be aware of right now, more than ever before, is just how hard their teams are working to get through this craziness of reopening.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that our staff are happy and well, both mentally and physically, as adjusting from furlough to one of the busiest periods the hospitality industry has ever seen can be a difficult task.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our hardworking colleagues and can’t thank them enough for their combined efforts of getting through the craziness of reopening week with a smile on their face.”