There is no doubt that these are some of the toughest times for the hospitality industry. Hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the industry is on its knees. Recovery will come, but when, and in what shape, is wholly uncertain.
Apart from a few who can offer safe delivery, establishments throughout the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough were closed with little notice and concentration had to quickly move from developing new recipes and experiences to fighting for a decent package for staff and negotiating with fixed cost suppliers to reduce bills during the closure.
The French Rooms in Bushmills were planning to launch six luxury suites prior to the pandemic and had signed up to a list of events with numerous ‘Dine Around Bushmills’ partners but all of those plans are now on hold indefinitely.
Owner of The French Rooms, Stella Bolton said “The first week our focus was on survival and trying to get our heads around the ever-changing offer of support from Government. We have done all we can now and like many others across the world, we are now adapting to working from home.”
Bushmills has a reputation for good food and over the past couple of weeks, Tartine at the Distillers Arms has been delivering cooking demonstrations through video via numerous social media platforms.
“The French Rooms have recently launched a blog which we hope will be of interest. We want followers to think ahead before they head out food shopping or book a food delivery, support local by buying from our Taste Causeway producers and plan dishes that they want to try out, in advance. We are encouraging our followers to think outside of the box. The best compliment I have ever received was that I could make a dinner out of nothing! Glad to have those skills in these extraordinary times.” Stella said.
Over the weeks the restaurant will be publishing recipe ideas online to make dining in a little special.
Concluding Stella said that “an enjoyable restaurant experience is not just about the food so we will look at drinks, table settings and delegation of tasks, an opportunity to get ‘all hands on deck’!. Particular focus will be given to homes with key workers and encouraging members of the household to organise simple dishes, served well as a comfort for those working in the front line.
The North Coast is full of great people who support each other and what we hope is that we all take this time to review what we eat, how we eat and come out the other side of this eating local produce and supporting our local hospitality industry.”