'We'll maintain some restrictions despite impact on our business' says Warwick restaurant owner
The business owner said if he has not adapted his menu for takeaways and sought alternative income streams throughout the pandemic, it would have meant permanent closure the Warwick restaurant
A Warwick businessman whose restaurant lost 75 per cent of its revenue throughout the pandemic, largely due to enforced social distancing, has vowed to maintain a reduced capacity despite the lifting of all legal restrictions this week.
Alex Clayton admits had he not adapted his menu for takeaways and sought alternative income streams throughout the pandemic, it would have meant permanent closure for Tasca Dali, in High Street in Warwick.
Even between lockdowns, capacity was reduced by half due to the social-distancing rules.
Other Covid measures being retained at the restaurant beyond the Freedom Day (July 19) include mask wearing by his staff, sanitiser stations and offering greater flexibility for customers.
He said: “The lifting of restrictions is incredibly welcome and needed but we shall act responsibly so that everyone benefits. We will operate at 75 per cent capacity until we are out of the woods.
"We have always been a restaurant first and a business second, so have decided we shall not be maxing out our numbers.”
Alex, who is subsidising his income as a consultant to restaurants abroad, added: “It is still very hard to plan beyond the short term so we will continue to take it a day and a week at a time but my aim is to create a more flexible business whilst maintaining the quality we have become known for.
“We had some good financial support from the Government but, despite this, there were definitely times in the past year or so when I didn’t think we would be able to cover our overheads.
"I needed to feed my family – and so had to go in search of other income streams.
“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 so I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty my customers have shown and so proud of my team.
"Thanks to them the long-term future of the restaurant looks a lot more promising.
“But I do believe we shall have to adapt to a continual series of mutations and restrictions in what is quickly becoming a very brave new world.”
Delivering on his promise of flexibility, Alex is the first to now offer his signature dish of paella to his tapas takeaway menu.
Tasca Dali has received a clutch of awards during its ten years in High Street, including Spanish Restaurant of the Year in the Birmingham Restaurant Awards.