As the school holidays approach and New Forest businesses prepare for what will be a higher than normal influx of visitors, we thought it would be a good idea to give you an insight into some of the ripple effects the pandemic is still having on our industry so that you are able to plan ahead and make the most of your long anticipated holiday without any unexpected disappointments along the way.

When the COVID 19 pandemic hit, the world’s economy was shut down virtually overnight and the tourism and hospitality industry was confronted with an unprecedented challenge.  While our industry is slowly recovering, the COVID 19 crisis continues to exert a profound impact on how we operate.  All businesses have had to limit numbers and make substantial changes to their operations in order to ensure employee and customer health and safety.

The ripple effects being felt now are wide reaching and disruptive and are causing unexpected further challenges for our industry.  As reported by the BBC in June, staff shortages are a major problem and this is being compounded by self-isolation rules where a business can lose staff members for up to 10 days without any warning.   Many establishments in The New Forest, including The Red Shoot Inn, are unable to open 7 days a week as a result of these staffing issues.   Supplies are also being disrupted due to lack of drivers and interruption in supply chains.  Many people are unaware of this situation and there have been some reports of unhappy customers turning up to closed pubs, finding reduced menus and being unhappy with the wait for food.  We still need to maintain the patience and kindness that we all had at the start of this journey because we have a way to go yet before we really can say we’re back to ‘normal’.

Remember the old saying – ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!   Just follow our top 6 tips when planning meals out, visits to attractions or just a beer in the pub, to avoid any unexpected surprises!

  1. Check the opening times of the establishment you plan to visit
  2. Find out if you need to book or can just turn up on the day
  3. If you’re eating out, check in advance if they have a full or limited menu
  4. Ask about waiting times for food
  5. Check how payment is taken, many places still take cash but lots don’t
  6. The New Forest is a wonderful place to have a safe and healthy holiday so ENJOY YOURSELVES!