With just about eight weeks shy of coming to the end of 2020, how many people really would have thought while ringing in this year that their job or business would be at stake months later?
Outside of being an oil rich country, Trinidad and Tobago is notably recognized globally for our Carnival, diverse culture and cuisine, and as a land of never-ending food, drink, and entertainment. While the economies of countless countries and nations continue to crumble globally from lockdown restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, our twin-island republic too has not been spared from economic devastation.
Seven months later, after an announcement of the first lockdown in T&T, more of the established and prestige restaurants and bars are joining in on closing their doors permanently, like many other brick and mortar watering holes have in months and weeks gone by. While most restaurants have adjusted to the ‘to-go’ concept, the bars have their hands completely tied as they solely rely on patrons to consume beverages on their premises, and away from home.
Locally, the tourism and hospitality industry still remains as being hit the hardest, however, there is a current steady increase in unemployment from business downsizes and closure in other sectors. The mere fact that there is a greater lack of disposable income from a vast majority affected, should the lockdown restrictions finally become relaxed would the general public, therefore, be in a financial position to lend support?
On another hand in between all of the doom and gloom, cognizant of the recent shift in consumer spend and significantly less impacted by restrictions, several local manufactures in the food and beverage industry such as Angostura, Carib Brewery and Bermudez have been more successful in keeping afloat by diversifying, launching new products and in some cases rebranding. Several entrepreneurs have honed their creativity to a new level as seen with Amando Phillips owner of a long-standing bar services company El Mundo Signature, who now offers incredible bottled cocktails.
In a time of uncertainty, it is too easy to lose hope, however, we are aware that many are in survival mode and don’t have the luxury of giving up. Bar Business TT encourages each one of you to become resourceful and hold tight, because this too shall eventually pass.