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Food establishments learn to be agile amid pandemic

By Tat Dat   January 4, 2022 | 06:41 pm PT
Food establishments learn to be agile amid pandemic
Restaurants at Central Market, an underground commercial area in HCMC’s District 1, either had few customers or were closed in November 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the food and beverage industry has nevertheless learned valuable lessons in flexibility and labor retention.

Accommodation and food establishments saw revenues decline by 19 percent in 2021 to VND398 trillion ($17.3 billion), according to data from the General Statistics Office.

The southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau reported the steepest decline of over 50 percent, followed by HCMC at more than 46 percent. In Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces and Hai Phong, Hanoi and Da Nang cities, the decline was 14-23 percent.

According to ranking company Vietnam Report, over 90 percent of businesses in the F&B industry were seriously affected by the pandemic in 2021, especially in terms of logistics, distribution and labor safety.

Some 35 percent also faced challenges related to rentals and labor availability.

A spokesperson for the Dau Homemade restaurant chain said a widespread difficulty the industry faced amid the pandemic was labor shortage. To retain workers, his chain arranged working shifts more appropriately and did not cut salaries, he said.

During nearly half a year of stay-at-work, Dau Homemade and Gong Cha milk tea chain covered their workers’ basic daily expenses and regular Covid testing fees.

Covid-19 taught F&B businesses lessons in how to retain workers in 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat

Covid-19 taught F&B businesses lessons in how to retain workers in 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat

A spokesperson for Dai Moc Food, which supplies food to factories and hospitals, said besides taking care of employees, it is also necessary to take care of their loved ones so that they are at ease while working.

Dai Moc provided fresh food to employees’ families, visited them and paid salaries in advance if workers asked for them, he said.

Dau Homemade switched from the restaurant business to foodstuff production and vegetable sales.

Besides ensuring product quality, Gong Cha has focused on training employees how to deal with Covid-related situations such as possible infection of workers or customers.

 
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