THE owner of a landmark Glasgow restaurant has voiced his fears of renewed lockdown for the sector amid the surge in the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
Marco Giannasi, who owns the Battlefield Rest bistro on the city’s south side with his wife Yellena, tweeted early this morning: “Deja vu! I feel we are getting closer to another Lockdown, I may be wrong however all signs are dragging us towards it. A sensation like breaking on ice and knowing that we can not stop sliding!”
He had tweeted on Wednesday: “We are now walking in unknown territory where at any moment of our journey could take us on a different destination! The new guidelines for Hospitality is very unclear and worrying!”
Mr Giannasi, who founded the Battlefield Rest in 1994, was last month presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Italian Awards.
The Battlefield Rest has experienced buoyant demand since reopening to sit-in diners in the spring after the most recent protracted lockdown.
In October, the restaurant won the Glasgow Business Award for Excellence in Communications, sponsored by The Herald.
Back in August, Mr Giannasi highlighted the “new assault course” created for his bistro by the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, flagging import and general supply-chain challenges as well as recruitment difficulties.
He tweeted: “How extraordinary has been such a strong demand on all industries, sectors either on finding employees or tradesmen or simply spare parts or products. The ‘Pandemic & Brexit’ has created a New Assault Course for us to challenge.”
Revealing a decision in August to stop opening on Sundays, Mr Giannasi tweeted: “We have taken the difficult decision to return to being closed on a Sunday from the 6th Sept. This is to help with the general wellbeing of our staff. Also due to logistical difficulties in getting fresh produce.”
He noted Sundays had been busy but underlined challenges.
The Battlefield Rest had by then raised employee numbers from 18 to 20, including Mr Giannasi and his wife, and had been endeavouring to hire further staff.
Mr Giannasi said then: “I decided it is better to have the same people, going back to six days a week. At least it kind of relieves the pressure on all of them. Just for the sake of a busy day, are you going to jeopardise the rest of the team and their welfare? … You don’t want to overcrowd yourself and put a lot of pressure into their bodies and minds. We tried to source staff for over two months.”