The Power of Sharing: Kitchens - Wellness, Health & Cleanliness (Series 5)
OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN)
July 14th, 2020
The general narrative of the news these days continue to be centered around developments on COVID19 related issues. This is expected, as we are all supposed to get used to the "new normal"?
In Japan, the increase of PCR testing in Tokyo and other regions have lead to a clear increase of infections reported, although it seems death rates do not correlate? We will have to see how things turn out in time, so one could say the data is not so conclusive as we want it to be.
In the meantime, the Japanese government has also announced the "Go To Campaign" - a source is linked here: https://japantoday.com/category/national/Japan-to-begin-Go-To-Travel-Campaign-on-July-22
This is actually a very confusing scheme, since there are government requests to be issued to businesses to close? because of the infections increasing but also they want to promote tourism at the same time? Apologies for all of my "?" marks in this post, but this is really happening and no one knows how to comprehend this situation. On one hand, I assume that most travelers actually want to travel, although there is information out there indicating that travel would pose a potential danger. How do we manage this?
The most important thing is to stay informed on the recent developments to ensure that you know what is happening around you. Keep your eyes and ears open.
Now on to recent trends I've been following - shared commercial real estate/kitchen space. It is obvious from the news, but because of the above situation, food and beverage businesses are suffering since even take-out food quantities cannot be predicted and efficiently planned out by business owners and chefs, as demand is unpredictable.
However, due to this phenomenon, there is a supply of open spaces in these commercial kitchens and restaurants. Is there a way to deal with utilizing these spaces in a more efficient way?
How do we deal with shared spaces? Food handlers typically already have previous training in serving food safely, with the supervision of the health department. We do have a "common sense" in this sense, to deal with sanitation issues with the public.
In the last few years, there are several space-sharing platforms in Japan which have arisen. Side note: I was subjected to use Airbnb a few times without really wanting to for business trips before... I never was sold on the fact that these apartments and rooms would be completely sanitary or cleaned to my satisfaction. I personally think that kitchens are a different discussion, given it's business purpose (comparative to renting out an entire apartment).
I hope that the food service businesses struggling during these uncertain times will be able to find a way to survive, with the space sharing platforms - there are definitely business opportunities with take out, delivery, and co-sharing...!!