In a survey completed by more than 1,000 of its 6,500 members, the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) found that 66% of respondents believe the situation will force their business to close.
The survey also showed that many independent operators were still unclear about information being issued by the Government, with 75% saying they were not clear about current Government guidance and 72% saying they did not know if they were eligible for rates relief.
“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,” says NCASS MD Alan Fox.
“Crucially, we want to help reassure the public that food delivery is safe when conducted in accordance with the latest guidelines.”
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 Coronavirus pandemic. According to the NCASS survey results, 49% of member businesses are currently using their own personal savings to survive.
Last week Boxpark, which uses a number of independent traders at its three London venues, closed all of its operations until further notice. Up until then, some had been offering a delivery service but they have now ceased trading.
However, many independent traders also believe that having access to funds would offer them a crucial lifeline, according to NCASS, with 73% believing a business grant could save them.
In light of the outbreak, NCASS has been providing practical support in the form of working documents and business strategies to its members. Other measures include, a template letter which members can complete and send to their relevant MP, a business survival strategy, and outlining measures that caterers can take if they’re looking to change their business model to a food delivery business.