blacksheep restaurants

“Trends Come And Go”: Blacksheep Restaurants On Covid-19

This is an excerpt from Big 7 Media‘s 100-page report on The Future of the Restaurant Industry in 2020. 

This detailed report provides current operational guidance and insight into emerging hospitality trends for 2020-21. We investigate the trends that are impacting the industry, both currently and in the future. You will learn: how to increase sales, current and future trends, supply chain issues and more.

See here for more information & pricing options.

The Future of the Restaurant Industry in 2020

We spoke to Christopher Mark, co-founder of Blacksheep Restaurants in Hong Kong:

What do you see as being key trends for restaurants in 2020-21?

“In our world trends are something we tend to ignore. Trends come and go and our goal is to build institutions that are here long after we are gone. However we do understand that the framework we exist in will be different for the next few quarters at least and that guests will continue to be very sensitive to hygiene and distancing.

“We need to learn to make our restaurants work under these new conditions and have started working with our architects to look into more permanent floorplan changes and partition screens between tables.

“We have also been monitoring the news coming out regarding air conditioning spreading the virus, while at the moment it does not seem conclusive, we are looking at the airflow within the restaurants and what our options are regarding air filtration systems.”

What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now?

“I am sure this is the same everywhere but the general uncertainty has caused a lot of anxiety for all of us. In a world where there is a lack of clarity, the leadership team are just keeping it day-to-day, trying to lead by example and communicate openly. But we are also just really tired.

“There is collective fatigue as for us in Hong Kong as the pandemic came on the heels of the social unrest of last summer and we feel like we have been swimming against the tide for almost a year now.

“There is nothing complicated about any of the protocols we have put in place, the hard part is just keeping the teams motivated to stick to them day after day, night after night.”

How do you envision the future of the restaurant industry in 2021?

“With travel restrictions likely to continue in many ways the work we do in restaurants will be even more important. There is likely to be a period of team members in masks and with sanitiser bottles on tables. These are not things that any guest typically associates with their dining experience, but that will have to change.

“Guests are used to certain gestures, particularly in fine-dining restaurants, like a sommelier physically checking a bottle of wine in front of them before serving, but those may have to fall away or be done privately to ensure guests are comfortable. For example the somms need to remove their masks to smell and taste the wine so that might need to happen in a private room before decanting and serving it to you at your table.”

Big 7 Media Report: The Future of the Restaurant Industry in 2020… Download Here

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Restaurant Industry Overview
  • Covid-19: Steps & Barriers to Reopening
  • Produce Supply Chain: Impact on Menu Model
  • Key Trends & Developments in Restaurant Sectors
  • Food Delivery Trends & Technology
  • Marketing & Social Media
  • Beverage Trends within the Restaurant Industry
  • Looking to 2021 – The Future
  • Endnotes
Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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