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Three steps to F&B recovery

by Mark Faithfull

The food and beverage (F&B) industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 and is now in a period of rapid adjustment and adaptation, with operators reorganising their restaurant offers and expanding their click & collect, kerbside and delivery options.

Over the past months we have talked to a wide range of leading F&B companies about food and beverage trends and how they see the future of dining and what it will take to survive, stay open and succeed.

Few sectors have been as badly hit or fundamentally changed by COVID-19 as the food and beverage industry. Initially forced to close in-store dining during a raft of lockdowns across Europe, more recently F&B operators have been juggling the need to create a great user experience but remain COVID-safe.

More recently, many markets have been back in partial or full in-store closures once again. Indeed, it is a feature of our reporting and updates that many of our respondents were preparing to re-open when we first spoke to them, yet the immediate future is far less certain. Markets and societies are moving at different paces and stages.

While the UK and the US have been two of the hardest hit by the pandemic, they both have tangible roadmaps to opening up their food and beverage businesses. For much of mainland Europe, restrictions may in fact become tighter in the short-term.

Geographically, some F&B industry operators have found themselves in a slightly better position in the food and beverage sector because of their offer and have had to adapt less, despite the COVID-related trends in the food and beverage industry and across the global market. In addition,
markets such as Spain and Italy have kept more outlets open at times during the pandemic, with slightly less severe restrictions.
 

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