INDUSTRY EXPERTS SPEAK ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE FOOD/HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND THE CHANGES TO EXPECT POST-COVID.

The world is experiencing a great paradigm shift as the ravaging corona virus, popularly called COVID-19, has made the entire world adjust to the new normal totally different from how life has always been. The effect of the corona virus has affected man socially, mentally and physically which has made government across the world enforce a total lock-down of various sector which made it difficult to carryout plans and day to day activity.
It is important to note, that the food industry is a collective and interwoven sector from the farm to the market down to the kitchen where delicacies are made every sector is of importance and they all work as a functional unit.

Very important however, the lock down enforced by countries was based on the situation of things in their locality this of course, affected various sectors that include the food/hospitality industry. As we often say here at MyCookery Zone (MCZ) , that food is life! Its an important part of human life that ensures the continuity of life and at this time it is important we discuss how it impacted the food industry and the changes to expect post-covid.

Moving closer to those in the food/hospitality industry (Chefs, food bloggers, food enthusiast, farmers, restaurateurs etc..)

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MCZ, in the past months have been collating perspectives and insights from the above mentioned ‘on the impact of covid-19 on the food industry and the changes that the industry will experience post-covid” We featured food industry experts ranging from food critic, chefs, farmers and restaurateurs in this article they shared their insight on how covid-19 has affected the industry and the way forward.

Opeyemi Famakin | Nigeria’s Biggest Food & Wine Critic

Nigeria’s Biggest Food Critic, Opeyemi Famakin shared his thoughts in three articles he published on his Instagram page and shared with MyCookery Zone.
His view were based on how restaurant, food vendors and young chefs can make use of the period to achieve success even amidst covid-19. (Please note, clicking on the highlighted titles below leads you to the article he shared with MCZ)

4 Ways Restaurants Can Still Make Cash During The Lockdown ,
3 Ways Young Unknown Chef Can Use Corona To Blow &
How Corona Virus Might Make Food Vendors Richer!!!

Ms. Olusola Sowemimo | Organic Farmer & Founder, Ope’s Farm

“Below is strictly from our experience at Ope Farms.

At the onset of Lock down, we held a business continuity meeting, identified what we needed to have in stock for production to continue and stocked up. Held meetings with our workers so they are better advised.
In view of the actual COVID19 experience, these were the strategies we developed:
A) We slowed down on production immediately to ensure there was no wastage
(B) We had to fine-tune:
– our marketing processes since more people are inclined to buying foods that boosts their immunity.
We did the following:
1) Sent out communication to our customers, telling them what we are doing and what we planned to do going forward.
2) We take pre-orders from existing customers and new ones
3) We deliver directly to customers at their homes
4) We used word of mouth at every opportunity
5) We worked more on our Advocacy Strategy as we are a certified organic farm and pride ourselves in selling ‘wellness’
6) Improved our online presence, digital marketing:
– Developed whatsApp Catalogue on some of our business phones
– WhatsApp broadcasts
– Joined electronic Malls
– Used Social media more effectively
– advertised the option of using our websites
As we go on:
– we are doing more collaborations and commencing off-taking of produce from small holder farmers who can follow our planting protocols
– registered on market hubs

– we process some of our products already and increased our output
(C) We have a store which was locked up at the initial Lock-down so we moved out the products and sold them through home deliveries.
– the store is back on business
Other possibilities
As primary producers, farmers need some cushion to make things easier.
I remembered the British government have grants to Fares because of the impact of Brexit.
Overall, it’s a time to be creative and innovative for all Agripreneurs.”

Iyabo Adeline-Lawani | Nutritionist, Veteran Chef & Founder, Food Rainbow.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all corners of the world. With governments bringing in restrictions to combat the disease, it hit the food industry hard as people were forced to be quarantined in their homes and a ban on restaurants , eateries and hotels was placed on them to shut down . I mean it was so hard that 5 stars hotels had to embark on laundry and food delivery services to keep on going. 90% of their workers stayed home some where lucky to get paid. Some, nothing at all.
With restricted living, Consumers had behavioral shifts that included severely restricted shopping trips, price concerns rise as limited stock availability impacts pricing in some cases.

Also, with the closing of restaurants and a sharp decline from businesses active in food supply to service like catering, hotels, airports and events, food companies that normally rely heavily on these sectors are faced with a challenge.In fact the whole world became so very weary of fear of the unknown and what the future holds.
Though the in the retail industry some are experiencing a major uplift as consumers are forced to shift to retail as the near single source to supply them with food items.

Furthermore, the uncertainty around the developments of the corona virus is causing consumers to a swift change in buying behavior and most of them started to hoard different food , and essential household items to cover their uncertainty towards the future.

Especially when the lock-down was in place, a tremendous pressure was put on retail stores to ensure all the isles fully stocked. Frankly, it was not funny that personally I experienced the fact that I had to wait for and search for a thing as common as fresh vegetables. Sad yes, but that was the reality of the pandemic situation and challenges faced.

The food sector is vital but still was and is indeed very vulnerable in this pandemic period. The food industry is a crucial sector. One major concern all food companies and customers shared relates mostly to the health and availability of their employees and caters .

Luckily, companies had to swing into action to real out policies and regulations in place to do their best to prevent any virus transmission in this are but most of all, one great advantage became that the fact that people learnt to do or cook things themselves at home go for the home yes, but a big disadvantage that hit and affected the food industry negatively.

We pray that siege be over soon. We all have to re-strategize and repackage our products with the implementations of rules and policies for the safety of our staff and consumers.”

Gbadamosi Olajide (Chef Human) | Chef, Culinary Instructor & Restaurateur

“The Corona virus has caused a global crisis and the melt down of businesses across the world and this is as a result of social distancing and lock-down policies employed by the state/federal government to curb the spread of the virus.

Many sectors of the hospitality industries have been forced to relieve some of their essential workers off their jobs without the exclusion of chefs and other essential food handlers and small and medium food enterprises. The food industry in Nigeria as we know it, is growing and this pandemic has in some very visible way caused a stunt on the growth, affecting continuous production of food items, services hence; the instability and stoppage of income flow.

Personally, I’ve patiently observed the strife of Chefs across the nation via the Internet and their efforts towards keeping their heads up and their endless continuity to create value in the food industry regardless of the pandemic’s effect on the state and I must commend that they are doing well.

In progression, new laws are being introduced to guide food and beverage service coy to aid the resumption of businesses and curb the spread of the virus. i.e; No eat-in services in fast-food joints and restaurants at large. This new system promotes the old service development ideas as they are being re-introduced and appreciated, however there are major factors caused by humans and not the virus itself that potentially cause harm on the business, both new and existing.

Delivery services in Nigeria has been good and sadly caused a lot of dent on food brands; from slacking in delivery timing, causing the meal to become cold, gluttonous acts from dispatch riders who “enjoy” pieces of the package, causing the dissatisfaction of clients with their food service providers and exposing them to food poisoning and food-borne illnesses. It also negates the hygiene standards originally put in place to prevent the contamination of food and beverage items consumed by the guests or in this case, distant clients.

This has a huge effect on small scale food handlers who can’t afford the cost of creating courier departments in their sector. The Industry is growing and also adapting to new systems, I can only hope for the best -The absolute control of the pandemic. However, new modus operandi will and can be introduced and one can only advice other bodies in the industry to run a “liquid” system of operations in in order to adapt conveniently.”

Iquo Ukoh | Veteran Chef, Nigerian Food Expert & Blogger at 1q Food Platter.

“First, eating out of home for middle to upper class clients has reduced which of course means that restaurants catering to that segment of the population have taken a hit on their businesses. Whilst some have responded by embarking on food delivery, the volume is not same. Caterers for parties are also impacted with social distancing in place .

Post covid which could be hopefully in next couple of months, some semblance of ‘normalcy’ could return but the cost of doing business for restaurants could increase. I figure they still have to buy sanitizers, and social distancing may still be in place which means that number of customers in restaurants will remain low. Even for party caterers the same may apply. But time will tell.”

Charmain Sithappah | Chef & Founder, The Seasoned Pot.

“Our food industry is the hardest hit by this virus and Black and Brown Chefs, kitchen staff, waiters and workers felt like a tsunami hit us since March 15th 2020. As a South African chef and a Black woman we are already plagued with systemic racism and gender inequality and barely breaking through when COVID 19 struck us impacting our beloved staff, families and us financially most critically loss of business and events. I think that we have to hit the pause button and decide to focus on the new reality as we hopefully get back to business making many changes.

Catering and the food industry is not for the faint of heart so creativity is a major player as we go forward and cater in post COVID from building new menu to satisfy a range of clients, an end to end e-commerce platform integrating loyalty program, dedicating interaction with customers, digital orders, some same day service, customized service with nutrition information, pricing End to end tracking to bring piece of mind to client. Your product is your destination when people want your food and know what they are getting and feel happy.

Menus will have to be more family oriented as we are not going to cater for larger groups for a while. As a South African women I cannot see me just letting go as business is going to come back but with new energy and healing to benefit all of us.”

Adetutu Adebambo, CPFM | Nutritionist , Home Economist, Event Facilitator and Founder, Lan-Foodtalkative Ventures

“The food industry is a very broad and interwoven industry on its own. All the way from the raw materials (Farm / Farmers) transit to production site to go through production processes and down to the consumer. At every point there is a human factor who handles the food all the way before it gets to the end user.
The pandemic has affected the industry through the shutting down of business e.g groceries store, restaurants, fast-food ,hotels , bars , lounge etc , in other to slow down the spread of the virus. The lock down has caused a ripple effect among industries such as food production , liquor , wine , etc and the shipping . Although the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) were working skeletally especially there staffs on the production line in other to ensure the availability of there products during the pandemic , but getting it across to the wholesalers / retailers was not easy as it use to be.

Thankfully, research has not shown the virus to be transmitted via food , so the major carriers are human beings and animals . The supply chain was disrupted which affected ingredients and raw material supplies. The suppliers couldn’t meet up with supplies of ingredients to the food and beverage industries thereby food companies has to be looking for alternatives and other suppliers who could meet up with there standards.

Food companies are now reviewing their crisis management/ emergency response plans to make sure they are prepared to handle any disruption caused by the pandemic.
Food industry production staffs do not have the opportunity to work from home , so keeping all the production workers and supply chain safe and healthy is critical to surviving the current pandemic.
Maintaining the movement of food along the food chain is an essential function to which all stakeholders along the food chain need to contribute. This is also required to maintain trust and consumer confidence in the safety and availability of the food.

The new normal we are now seeing are
*Chef driven delivery restaurants
*Gourmet street food
*In house eating
*Consumption of more variety of fresh unprocessed foods to gets vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc in other to boost immune systems.
*Fear of contagion (reduced visit to food markets)
*Lower restaurants traffic
*Increased e-commerce deliveries
*Rise in eating at home
*Branding of home made food commodities
*YouTube chefs
*Increase in home delivery
*Lesser incidence of eating out which is now paving way for new home chefs.

So going forward food industries are taking the food safety management system (FSMS) based on the hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) principles in place to manage food safety risk and prevent food contamination. They can’t afford to have just one of the production staffs to be infected with COVID which will poses a great effect and threat on the company and its product consumption at the long run . Basic and compulsory conditions and activities such as
*Good hygiene practices
*Proper cleaning and sanitation
*Zoning of processing areas
*Suppliers control
*Storage, distribution and transport
*Personnel hygiene and fitness to work are all necessary to maintain a hygienic food processing environment.
There is now need for all personnel working in the industry regardless of their apparent health status to practice personal hygiene and appropriate use of PPE.
Food businesses are introducing high level of security and staff management to maintain a disease free working environment
Food workers physical distancing in the work environment .
Stagger work stations on either side of the processing lines so that food-workers are not facing each other .
*Space out work stations which may require reduction in the speed of production time .
* Limiting the number of staffs in a food preparation area at any time.”

Lola Osinkolu | Chef, Food writer, Vlogger & Blogger at Chef Lola’s Kitchen.

“The COVID-19 situation is unfolding every day, and it’s becoming unpredictable with everyone trying to stay positive. In my opinion, The impact of COVID-19 has really impacted the food industry in a lot of ways, and it might take some time for the food industry to fully recover even after COVID is gone.

COVID has changed the way we shop, especially food. A lot of people are buying and storing up food as a result of fear, and this has led to a shortage of some core food items in the stores. As a result, some stores are beginning to limit the quantity of food that can be bought. For example, my local grocery will not allow more two dozen eggs at a time.

The impact of the COVID pandemic has affected a lot of jobs. Some are totally out of job; some are partially out, while some that still have their jobs are not sure of tomorrow. This has caused us to learn how to become more frugal in spendings, like buying food with a long shelf life frozen vegetables, canned fruits, and vegetables in order to save more.

Since the COVID pandemic has gotten us confined to our homes and we no longer have the luxury of going into our favorite restaurants, most people have learned how to cope by shopping for more shelf-stable foods and learning how to cook and bake more. These new skills will be helpful not only during this season but after the pandemic.

Sadly, some restaurants might find it a bit hard to have a come back after the pandemic. This is our new reality with food, and I think this new way of life will still be our reality even when the world returns to normal because it will take time for us to unlearn this habit.”

Abisodun Raphael-Akinmola | Food Blogger at Meals With Abi.

“Impact will depend on what sector of the food industry I guess. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are definitely getting more demands as everyone is home and making their own meals. It’s had the worst effect on restaurants as they have been closed for a while now.

I feel the post covid effect on restaurants will be huge because many of the consumers are starting to adjust to home cooked meal or placing orders and it will take a while before they get back into the eating out lifestyle. The FMCG is one sector that will still stand post covid because everyone will keep eating and consuming.”

Ify Larry-Agugor | Food Blogger & Culinary Enthusiast at The Food Lover Ng.

“Restaurants Vs Home Cooks, the Battle Covid-19 brought us.

The pandemic has taught us all different lessons but one that really stands out for me is the way it has emphasized the essentiality of the food industry.
At the early stage of the lock-down, it felt like restaurants were done for. In fact, fine dining restaurants were cancelled because it was time to eat for survival, not eat fancy. Meanwhile, we watched majority of the home cooks and food delivery services flourish. Grocery stores were practically emptied out, every one either wanted to make themselves meals at home or have their trusted covid-free food vendor supply them home cooked meals that will last weeks. Food production and agricultural companies were also booming.

Thankfully, the restaurants became proactive. Covid-19 made them spring out a lot of changes and innovative ideas. We have seen total menu makeovers, DIY food boxes and fun customer experiences for social distancing. I guess we can say it is now a fair battle. Some people have grown accustomed to home cooking and swear that even after the pandemic, they have acquired enough cookery skills to give restaurants a run for their money while others can not wait to bask in the euphoria of dining out! Which side of the battle are you on?”

Chef Daniel Ibanga
Daniel Ibanga | Chef

“The industry has been through a lot and recovering from it is going to take a long time, Big restaurants and hotels have had to lay off workers, solicit for patronage and even ask for government bail outs just to stay afloat. This is the only Industry that may not do well in the post COVID-19.

People will still be avoiding ordering food or dining out for a long time to come. The changes are going to be enormous, we’ve noticed hotels offering food delivery services which no one ever thought was possible. This will pave the way for the industry to look at other means of generating income not just by selling food.

A lot of online trainings were carried out during the lockdown period. We might see a lot of those continuing for a long time too. The establishment of hotels as training schools, Kenya has one already. The delivery service might continue even post COVID-19 as it was an untapped aspect for a lot of the big brands in the industry. Hopefully everything will be back and better in good time.”

Daniel Ochuko
Daniel Ochuko | Chef, Food Blogger at DKB Foods.

“The impact of covid 19 pandemic on the food industry cannot be ignored because it has been a situation of two sides of a coin. On one hand, food businesses have been forced to stop all eat-in food services which one way or another has reduced the demand for such service and businesses who deliver foods in bowls and trays for busy people have experienced a drastic decline in sales because their clients are now also forced to stay home and can maybe cook for themselves.

On the other hand, I think the covid 19 pandemic has forced food businesses to think out of the box on how to serve their customers better and safer because we truly are not certain of what lies in front of us. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach here , I think moving forward food businesses will be forced to adapt the safety first mantra and we can expect to see new changes done to the sitting arrangements in restaurants and menu adjustments and maybe no buffet options anymore.

I think we can also expect friction-less services from food businesses moving forward and I really hope food businesses in Nigeria get the memo quickly.”

Sonia Akpata Usmar
Sonia Akpata Usmar | Anchor / Producer & Director Food Journey – on Channels TV /DSTV

“Since the advent of covid 19 I think there have been stages of uncertainty based on what your vocation is. Definitely food is a must. With deliveries in the forefront the dining experience is something of the past. The rate at which we order take out has escalated because we yearn for the goodies we once could sit down to eat.
This can be short-lived though due to the need for self sufficiency.

How we navigate the foods we buy out of doors will be subject to our bravery as far as phobias and our personal limits of exposure to other people. Its hats off to the food sectors that have been able to adapt to the new climate.

Change management is a handful. A readjustment of all we have been used to and take for granted. God help us all to adapt whatever our profession and we must understand that reinvention is a concept we need to embrace pandemic or not.”

Chef Navhi Ifode
Navhi Ifode | Chef & Founder, The Kitchen Kernel

“The impact has been fairly similar to all culinary businesses. From halting of imports of essential supplies, to lack of sufficient patronage on food delivery businesses and halting of consulting projects, the impact has been immense and has significantly affected our income.

We are earnestly looking forward to a speedy return to normalcy and hopefully event better patronage post Covid- 19”

Chef Gbolabo Adebakin
Gbolabo Adebakin | Founder, Chef Gibbs & co-founder Feed The Kids Ng.

“The impact of Covid-19 has been huge and thoroughly significant. Globally, Food businesses have had to resolve to online transactions and offline options were put on hold.
Businesses that only have the offline option may record loses in inventory especially business that stock long term.Reinvention and staying relevant is the lesson to be learnt this period.

Every business that hope to stand will have to adapt to the times and present options they may not have had before. The pandemic is also a good opportunity for business to re-evaluate their health practices and promote good hygiene and safety practices.”

Ozoz Sokoh
Ozoz Sokoh | Chef, Nigerian Food Explorer & Founder, Kitchen Butterfly.

“Covid 19 has impacted many parts of the food industry from production to supply chain, grocery shopping and dining out.

New safety protocols will be important in a post-Covid world as well as creating different restaurant experiences, some which might be centered around the home. I suspect that take out and food delivery will still see a rise over the next few months, as well as online grocery shopping.”

Chef Alexander Adegboye
Alexander Adegboye | Chef, Author & Founder, Chefs Market Ng.

“The Impact of COVID-19 is undoubtedly a negative one, all hospitality firm were closed down and people lost their jobs. Most importantly; the fact that chef’s had to stop working will drastically reduce their level of creativity as they now need to focus more of what to eat as per their daily meals than focusing on how to improve.

Now about the change. Hospitality practitioners are beginning to diversify, focusing more on e-commerce.”

Chef Olasunkanmi Atolagbe
Olasunkanmi Atolagbe | Chef & Head HR X3M Ideas

“The supply chain for food items (ingredients and raw material for food production) actually experienced a bit of slow movement because of the lock-down, especially when you have to deal with the perishables which you cannot store for too long. Yes, the government gave a free passage to food item distribution, yet the speed of delivery was still an issue for most food production people.

The spending power of people was also an issue, which was affected by loss of income (loss of jobs and revenue due to covid-19 pandemic). Most people could no longer afford to buy meals from some high profile food outlets where the cost is more, so they started relying on home made meals or ordering from places where the meals are more affordable. However, most food outlets also enjoyed more patronage and generated more revenue during this period.”

Chef Nadine Nelson
Nadine Nelson | Chef & Founder, Global Local Gourmet

“My events have been cancelled until further notice. I am taking my cooking classes virtual and concentrating on curriculum and training I can do online. I hope that is helpful. We will see what the fall brings in regard to in person events. Delicious blessings.”

Chef Marco J Morana
Marco J Morana | Chef at ICCA Dubai & Culinary Enthusiast.

“I believe the rich have stayed the same and the poor are even poorer. The big brands within the industry have not suffered because they have cut the legs of the very people who actually make a difference,the people that all clients see on a regular basis, the people who make our industry thick. After reading some of these stories, on the people that have been asked to leave without pay is a disgrace.

The world should take notice we are but guests on this planet and Mother Nature sent us a warning with this pandemic. We use and abuse this beautiful world of ours, now is the time to take notice and show respect. We have a duty to this planet; to save certain species from air, land and sea before we drive them into extinction. Mother Nature will not be so forgiving the next time. Let’s all work together on sustainability,improving on the way and what we eat. Let us also stand together regardless of race and culture.”

Chef Akomolafe Seun (Smart)
Akomolafe Seun | Founder, ChefSmart

“First of all, when government finally allow clubs,hotels,bars,entertainment center to fully open, patronage will be low. A lot of people will still be cautious to mingle in crowd.

Furthermore, the industry won’t regain fully till 2021. Many business owners will fold up. Many will be unemployed and the ones that are still employed will have salary cut down. Finally, the change will make a lot of business owner to tilt towards online marketing and sales.”

Chef Atim Ukoh
Atim Ukoh | Chef & Founder, Afrolems Nigerian Food Blog.

“Covid has impacted the industry tremendously not just locally but globally. There’s going to need to be a lot of safety measures taken and communicated so that consumers can trust again.

I see some people downsizing drastically and reducing menu offerings to remove complexities in their processes and run a bit more efficiently. A lot of businesses may not survive but a lot of new ones will come in. Cloud kitchens will be the new normal and hopefully deliveries(logistics willing) will be the new normal”

Abimbola Fayomi of EatBMerry,
Abimbola Fayomi | Food Photographer at EatBMerry

“Restaurants have been greatly affected by the Pandemic, limited to take out or pick up options.. In addition, people are more hesitant to go and dine-in at restaurants due to the high risk of covid transfer.”

Chef Nkesi Enyioha
Nkesi Enyioha | Chef & Restaurateur at HSE Gourmet

“When the pandemic first hit, it thoroughly devastated the food/hospitality industry. This is an industry built on socializing so one can only imagine how a social distancing policy negates the very foundation of the industry.

Soon however, we began to see a resurgence, restaurants like mine were forced to think outside the box, we had to find ways to satisfy our consumers and still make a profit, we had to find a balance between trying to make a sale and understanding that our consumers have also been deeply affected by the pandemic. Another major challenge was our employees, the ones without which we wouldn’t have an industry, we knew we had to do more so a good number of them could keep their jobs. It wasn’t an easy road, it still isn’t but it reminded us that we can never be complacent in this industry.

We have come to the realization that life as we knew it will never be the same but it isn’t all bad. As we start our new life in this post COVID era, we have to remember to constantly innovate, to have more compassion when dealing with guests and vice versa. We as humans in general have to understand now more than ever. The true meaning of community as we need each other for survival. Looking ahead I am very hopeful, sometimes we need a bit of discomfort so that we can truly realize our full potential, I believe our industry is fully capable of reinventing themselves.”

Chef PrinceWill Okpala
PrinceWill Okpala | Chef

“These are trying times to say the least. Every person will be affected by this issue in some way, shape or form, Countless job losses, private owned business shut down etc.

As chefs we can only do what we do best; cook, experiment new recipes, take time to focus on developing our individual culinary journeys, personal steps forward, it’s our form of therapy.
I hope for the best and I hope that everyone stays cautious and safe in order to beat this as fast as possible.”

Chef Ezeokonkwo Jessica (Chef Jhess)
Ezeokonkwo Jessica | Chef & Food Blogger at Chef Jhess

“As we saw at early stages of the pandemic there was a decrease in food supply from farmers as a result of the global lock-down which led to massive panic buying and subsequent hike in price by few sellers who had food stuff — knowing that food is a basic necessity of life and no matter what the price people are going to buy especially, now that they are forced to stay at home they need food stuff because there is no option of going out to restaurants to eat.

Post COVID 19, I think people are going to be wary of going to eat at restaurants not because of the price but because of the food hygiene, they will rather just make something at home to eat. I know a lot of people have been online learning how to cook different meals. So I think that restaurants are going to experience a big decrease in sales post COVID 19”

Chef Adedotun Ige
Adedotun Ige | Chef, Food Blogger & Vlogger at Dotun Diners

“First and foremost the food industry has been greatly impacted by covid 19 in really negative ways take for instance, prices of things have basically skyrocketed. For myself who owns an ice cream business the price of whipped cream has increased by almost 25% from N3,750 — N5,350.

And taking into consideration that meals at a restaurant or ice cream and all are a leisure product and that people won’t patronize unless their basic needs have been met the increase in price of ingredients would also mean an increase in price of meals and with the restrictions placed on restaurants and with the downturn of economic events happening currently that begs the question how much are people actually willing to pay for fine dining and leisure products?

Well, the way forward might actually be injecting money into the food sector, teaching young people in the food industry efficient ways to cut cost and substitute ingredients that can still give the best quality. I also think seminars and all should be done to actually teach people the way the food industry operates and how pricing is done. The business aspect of the food industry basically because, a whole lot of young people in the food industry are actually blindsided about it. It’s high time foodies started supporting foodies.”

Chef Logan Gullef
Logan Gullef | Chef, Author & Photographer.

“Post COVID restaurants could be a very different reality, I see a lot of restaurants closing for good, but with that I also see some brave chefs starting new concepts and innovating to make customers more comfortable and safe.

I think the paper menu will be gone in most restaurants. I also think that open kitchens where you can see the chefs will become a trend because then you can visually hold them accountable for keeping their mask on and cooking safely.”

Aramide Pearce
Aramide Pearce | Culinary Curator & Founder, Soul Spice Life.

” I have seen that Covid is affecting the food industry a lot. A lot of restaurants are only doing pick up and deliveries rather than having the luxury to eat and experience the restaurant there and then. The experience of eating is now at home. The changes that the industry will experience are more customers will prefer ordering and picking up their food as this is what they are used to.

It will also mean that the business will need to be more tech/internet savvy as to keep their customers interested through their social pages. If they happen to have. They will also have to come up with new ways to get their customers attention be it by deals, freebies, loyalty schemes, new menus monthly, special treat on birthday’s or even a personalized note inside your order.

This also means that businesses have to think a lot about logistics and means of delivering their food on time when doing deliveries. Also, bearing in mind the traffic and how cautious they have to be of hygiene as they will have to collect payments and handle food etc.”

Elvis | Chef In Scrubs
Elvis | Doctor, Chef, Food Blogger at Chef In Scrubs

“No doubt C-19 has impacted on various industries and the food industry has not been spared. From international lock-down to restriction on importation on food and food items, the culinary industry has suffered a major setback in getting a hold of major supplies and elements especially those that aren’t grown natively.

Moving forward, the changes can go either way. In one way, this pandemic may yet spark budding chefs in collaboration with the agricultural sector to focus on expansion of locally made foods and fruits. The country can start empowering the local farmers with tools to cultivate and grow special herbs, spices and fruits that are heavily relied upon and scarcely available.

This will encourage more native and western fusion meals as well as add a boost both to the industry and the economy
On the other hand, it may yet make us more heavily dependent on western foods and this may further limit the creativity of young aspiring chefs in expanding their culinary vocabulary.”

Chef Victor William
Victor William | Chef & Founder, Food Sanctuary

“The primary challenge is obvious..as hotels and restaurants have closed down their businesses for the past months without payment of salaries 🤷‍♂️ from the look of things it’s also obvious that some food businesses might not be re-opening after when all of this is gone.

Some of the challenges the food industry will be facing e.g: like fine dining, restaurants, food caterers, is just that they won’t be able to cater for large numbers of clients and staff like before.”

Chef Walter Chika Agusiegbe
Walter Chika Agusiegbe | Chef, Food Photographer & Founder, The Whipped Mousse

“The impact of Covid – 19 on the food industry and post covid changes.
There is no gain saying that the food industry would remain as is following the antecedent of the novel virus. As Food Epicureans have embraced the idea of placing orders via technology. The statistics rose from a minimum order level to a max. It indeed will take a paradigm shift to return back our sanity.

Closure of restaurants in Nigeria caused a ripple effect among the food industries there by reducing precipitously restaurants daily traffic.
However, part of the teachings this new normal brought was the acceptance that dining experience can be kept at a minimum. Chefs and Restaurateurs would need to inculcate the culture of innovation as this tool is paramount in driving market success.
I foresee that after a period our bodies would readjust to the acceptance of a new system. A new system based on the principles of definition.”

Chef Mercy Ndiana Umoh | Founder, Culinary Instructor and Managing director of Food Perfect Institute of Culinary Arts.

“My thoughts on the impact of Covid 19 pandemic in the Hospitality Industry is quite big. Firstly, people used to enjoy going out with friends and family to Restaurant and Eatery but now that doesn’t happen again.

To me the covid 19 pandemic has much effect on the outdoor Caterers that caters for weddings and other outdoor events. But ever since the pandemic — everything has been shut down, people have called to cancel their bookings on them.
Some Chefs are out of job now, we really don’t know when the world’s economy will pick up because this is looking like the new normal.

One thing I have noticed now is more clients asking for personal Chefs for their home.
As a Culinary Instructor my advice to Chefs out there, you have to see this as an opportunity to upgrade your skills because the world will pick up again and when it does a lot of Chefs will be left behind.”

INDUSTRY EXPERTS SPEAK ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE FOOD/HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND THE CHANGES TO EXPECT POST-COVID.

Going forward we definitely expect to see changes in the hospitality industry we can only adjust to the new norm and ensure our safety by observing the protocols laid down by Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization (W.H.O) at all times. We sincerely thank everyone who contributed to the success of this project, you matter and we do not take your time, energy and wealth of knowledge invested in this for granted. Thank you so much!

Published by Temitopedancer

My name is ÌyanuOlúwa Fágbiyè Tèmítọ́pẹ́ (Pen name: temitopedancer) I am the founder and team lead at My Cookery Zone. I'm an Anthropologist, multimedia Journalist / broadcaster, food blo gger, and food writer.

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