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When Howard Wilson famously coined the phrase ‘a week is a long time in politics’, even he couldn’t have envisioned the position we now find ourselves in. Since our last issue was sent to print just a month ago, the coronavirus crisis has escalated to the extent that even Brexit has become an almost irrelevance.

Unfortunately, the unprecedented action of nigh on locking down the country – bar the odd enforcement ignorer who made one last bucketlist dash to Skegness – has left pretty much the whole of the food industry, bar the supermarkets and some takeaways services, desperately struggling. This is especially true of staff, with those who have been furloughed counting themselves lucky, while the less fortunate have even been left without a roof over their heads.

The good news is that help is at hand from – where else? – Hospitality Action. Despite the turmoil, the organisation is rallying resources, and you can find out how you can help in the Big interview on 12. Elsewhere, I take a look at how companies such as Compass are helping to mount a fightback (page 16) and there is expert legal help available on page 40.

We wish all of you out there who are facing uncertain times the very best of luck. Hospitality and foodservice will always be needed, and our industry will play a crucial role in helping to repair the nation once the worst of the pandemic has passed.

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