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Hearing Hospitality: Kam & Autumn at TikiTail Balham

Hearing Hospitality: Kam & Autumn at TikiTail Balham

Hospitality businesses have faced unprecedented challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fear of the virus, lockdowns, and hospitality venues having to limit their services to takeaway & delivery only, have contributed to the decline of many businesses' revenue. There's also the concern of how the potential changes to our eating & drinking habits could impact the recovery of these businesses in the long-term.

We spoke to Kam (owner) and Autumn (manager) of the popular Hawaiian restaurant & bar, TikiTail, on Bedford Hill, to hear how the reinforced restrictions have impacted them and what we can expect from them in the new year.

“One of the biggest challenges is the fact that the real TikiTail experience can no longer be fully appreciated. When you come to TikiTail, it’s all about the experience, so going online and being limited to takeaway only doesn’t offer the same atmosphere. Our venue is a place of escapism, it’s fun and vibrant but it’s difficult to share this experience when the restaurant is closed, and we only run a takeaway service.”

“Unfortunately, the grants haven’t provided enough support. They barely cover our rents - we have more than just rents to deal with, so yeah, it has been difficult to cover our costs. But we will endeavour, it’s presumptuous to know what the future will bring but we’ve managed to survive previous lockdowns, so we’ll survive this one.”

“We have a fantastic team and have rotated all of our staff on flexi-furlough. This allows everyone to share the workload and also means you’re not stuck at home going crazy. But really this has allowed all the staff to learn new areas of the job and become hybrid. It’s been an excellent time for the team to expand and develop skills in areas they probably wouldn’t have imagined they’d practice.

“I think the future of British hospitality is seeing a cognitive change in the mindset of people. Ordering takeaway has become the main and popular substitute from going out to eat. Behaviours like this in a post-lockdown world may continue to stay popular and threaten the dining experience restaurants provide, so who knows, we might begin to see the death of hospitality.”

“Ultimately, we’re happy with our steady growth. Our focus is to continue maintaining our current standard and rapport with our customers. The lessons we’ve learnt from the many lockdowns are to stay authentic and true to ourselves. We’re not wanting to bring anything new or go away from what we’re known for already at TikiTail, instead, in this new year, we want to remain as the TikiTail that our customers know, love and visit us for.”

Thanks to Kam & Autumn (who's pictured here with her TikiTail colleagues) for giving us an insight into the challenges faced working in the hospitality sector in these times.

TikiTail is located at 90 Bedford Hill, serving their Hawaiian menu for delivery & takeaway from 12 Noon, Monday-Saturday and from 5pm Sundays. You can order from them directly at tikitail.co.uk

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