This issue comes to you at, even by the sometimes trying standards of, well, the last decade or so, a time of great upheaval. As we go to print, the coronavirus appears to be taking hold on our shores, albeit on a relatively small scale, bringing even more uncertainty. The London Coffee Festival has just announced its postponement and any commitment beyond a few hours away seems to be in doubt.
While the out of home sector appears to be relatively small fry in an issue of such international importance, it it still serious. Unfortunately, asking employees to work from home doesn't really work in hospitality, and the cancellation of events and reluctance of customers to venture out will take its toll.
Solid advice is fairly hard to come by as we go to print, but we are hearing that you should heed it when it arrives and ensure it is shared quickly. Any employees who have been advised to self-isolate should be supported where possible. And it goes without saying that ensuring that the highest possible hygiene standards are maintained by both customers and staff is also advisable.
The budget (which has just literally just been announced as I type) appears to be a step in the right direction. Hopefully those who have regarded the outbreak as being a storm in a teacup will have been proved right by the time we return next month.