The AA today launched an accreditation program that it hopes will give customers the confidence to visit bars, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses (not to mention campsites and golf courses) once the lockdowns have been lifted.
Its new Covid Confident program has been backed by 19 professional hospitality bodies and promises to be vital support for the hospitality industry in rebuilding a clientele that feels comfortable going out once. Stricter social distancing measures will be relaxed.
The news comes as thousands of restaurants and bars risk closing their doors due to both a lack of clarity from the government on social distancing measures. Kate Nicholls, managing director of UKHospitality, which represents hotels, bars and restaurants, said that a third of hotel companies (30,000 or 40,000 companies, employing a million people) could begin layoff processes this week. there was no clarity, with companies having to fund an increased share of the wages of workers on leave from the end of July.
Establishments eligible to apply for AA Covid Confident accreditation (which include restaurants, hotels, bars, and pubs) can do so for free starting today, and will go through a rigorous application process involving assessment. risks, evidence that the relevant procedures and measures are in place and that formal staff training has taken place.
The specifics of the risk assessment and training requirements will reflect government guidelines for the hospitality industry – which have yet to be announced – and applicants will need to subscribe to a Covid Confident charter, commit update procedures as guidelines change and submit to any future audits. as requested.
AA Media CEO Simon Numphud hopes the accreditation will allow the public to enjoy their days once again, knowing that they are not putting themselves in danger. “As ski lifts and the public begin to look for short breaks, restaurant meals and other experiences, AA Covid Confident accreditation will help customers find approved establishments to visit,” he says.
While businesses do not need to already hold an AA Rosette or Star Rating to apply, restaurants, bars, and pubs will need to have a food hygiene score of three or higher. Once government advice changes to allow restaurants to reopen, the AA will list all establishments accredited by Covid Confident on its website, Ratedtrips.com.
Until government guidelines for the hospitality industry are released, the practicalities of the program remain unclear; the time between application and accreditation is unknown, as are the requirements for security measures and staff training.
But even with the assurance of official accreditation, will the public want to eat out so soon after the crisis? A global coronavirus survey in May found that 69% of customers said they would trust the security measures taken by individual restaurants rather than measures taken by the government. But is that enough to keep the restaurant business afloat? Another 20 percent said specials and incentives would keep them coming back, but for many restaurants it seems unlikely that many restaurants will be able to offer discounts when they reopen.
A number of restaurants have already announced that whatever guidelines the government gives to restaurants and bars reopening is simply no longer an option. Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury and famed Indian fusion restaurant Indian Accent are the latest in a series of established businesses to announce their final closure – this new program will do enough to reassure customers, as well as businesses that worried that when they reopen, their tables will remain empty?
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This notice was published: 2020-06-17 12:48:16