The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) the trade association that represents businesses in the mobile catering, festival, street food and independent restaurant sector, has undertaken a survey revealing the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on their members
Much of the mobile and independent catering industry has had to close due to the necessary restrictions on public gatherings and the consequent social distancing measures that have been out in place to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NCASS survey, completed by over 1,000 of its 6,500 members, revealed that:
75% are not clear about current government guidance
72% do not know if they are eligible for rates relief
49% are currently using their savings to survive
73% think that a business grant could save them
Whilst, 66% say that the situation will force their business to close
In light of the outbreak, NCASS have been providing practical support in the form of working documents and business strategies to their members. Other measures include, a template letter which members can complete and send to their relevant MP, a business survival strategy, outlining measures that caterers can take if they’re looking to change their business model to a food delivery business, which as of 25/3/2020 remains legal.
The trade association has also created a petition via change.org, requesting that government extend COVID-19 support to mobile and independent hospitality businesses. The petition currently has almost 7,000 signatures.
Alan Fox, NCASS MD said, “There’s a lot of confusion and uncertainty out there at the moment. Some mobile traders have taken the decision to close, as they feel that is the right thing to do. Crucially, we want to help reassure the public that food delivery is safe when conducted in accordance with the latest guidelines.”