‘We need to change our business models or die’: Warwick restaurater's stark warning to fellow hospitality bosses

Tasca Dali owner Alex Clayton's stark prediction comes ahead of an anticipated delay in the planned full easing of Covid restrictions for June 21, which he blames on ‘Government inaction and incompetence'

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 2:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th June 2021, 2:44 pm

An award-winning restaurateur in Warwick has advised fellow hospitality bosses to ‘change their business models or die’ as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten their futures.

Tasca Dali owner Alex Clayton's stark prediction comes ahead of an anticipated delay in the planned full easing of Covid restrictions for June 21, which he blames on ‘Government inaction and incompetence'.

Alex was forced to close Tasca Dali Spanish restaurant at the start of lockdown, resorting, like many others, to offering meal deliveries to try and keep his business alive.

Alex Clayton of Tasca Dali.
Alex Clayton of Tasca Dali.

Since then, despite being allowed to reopen between lockdowns last year, the business has adapted to months of continuous revisions to the guidance including an enforced 1m self-distancing rule, reducing customer capacity by half.

Alex said: “The final lifting of the restrictions is critical for us as a small restaurant. To be running at minimal capacity has a huge impact. We have been through a lot over the last 14 months but I am proud to say we have managed to keep on almost all the team.

“What is difficult to fathom is that the delays are the result of Government slowness to close borders immediately when they detected the variants from India. This means that once again it is the small business that needs to pay for such inaction and incompetence. We are supposed to plan when they cannot.

“At the end of the day, incompetence aside, I do believe we shall have to adapt to a continual serious of mutations and restrictions in what is quickly becoming a very brave new world.

Tasca Dali in Warwick.

“Since we cannot fight the system and since we put our clients front and centre of everything we do, we shall need to change our business model or die.

“To that end, we have brought in a very flexible booking software which allows greater flexibility in booking times so as many people can come as possible in spite of our limited capacity.”

Tasca Dali has received a clutch of awards during its eight years in High Street, including Spanish Restaurant of the Year in the Birmingham Restaurant Awards.