The international singer has a love for Italy. His latest initiative only proves this theory.
Sting has just announced that he will help Italian businesses recover after the pandemic. All this, thanks to his Every Breath Foundation. The singer will focus on restaurants and bars, hence the hospitality industry. Indeed, one of the most hit by the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns.
Every Breath Foundation, a new project to restart
The foundation is a newborn. An idea born out of Sting’s love for the country and out of pain. While the details are scarce, the goal is clear. After one year of pandemic, restaurants and bars need help. They need help to restart, after being stuck with delivery-only services. And these businesses need support to invest, create bigger spaces, and perhaps a new menu. Plus, of course, support in surviving.
The pandemic effects on the industry
Solidarity is the keyword for the Every Breath Foundation. In fact, the food and beverage industry has been the main to suffer due to Covid. First, the complete lockdowns of months, then the delivery-only services, and the limited capacity. Not everyone survived one year of pandemic.
In the first trimester of 2020, the industry has lost euro 10 billion. Plus an additional 8 billion in the second semester of last year. A survey by the association FIPE showed that 92% of business owners experienced a negative impact from the pandemic. In particular, restaurants and bars saw a reduction of 64% on reservations and of 33,5% on daily meals.
On average, most of these businesses lost over 30% in revenue, and only one in three lost below that threshold (10-30%). Even Easter of 2020, a holiday that Italians spend outside, had a negative trend. While these companies didn’t report difficulties in finding the ingredients, they reported difficulties in having customers. In fact, there was a drop in both local and foreign diners in 2020.
The 2021 estimates
Does this year look better for the food and beverage industry? While restrictions in Italy are loosening, the picture isn’t overly optimistic. In fact, in 2020, this sector lost 44,2% in revenue. The estimate for 2021 is a loss of 35%. Indeed, better statistics. But far from perfect.
During better times, the industry had a yearly revenue of euro 90 billion and it employed almost 2 million people. The 2021 loss in revenue is estimated at over euro 38 billion, almost half of the income. Plus, one in four of these businesses will still close, always due to Covid. So, while the numbers of the contagion have improved in Italy, the pandemic still has an effect in 2021.
And that’s why initiatives like the non-profit Every Breath Foundation are crucial. It’s a battle for survival. Thanks to Sting’s love for Italy, things might just improve for some restaurants and businesses.
Sting & Italy, a love affair
The British singer loves the country so much that he dedicated a song to it. It’s called The Empty Chair and he announced it with a video on April 2020, when the country was fighting against the virus.
”I miss my favorite country and I know how much you are suffering,” Sting says in the introduction, “this song talks about our loved ones that we miss, of who can’t come home anymore. And so you leave an empty chair at the table, to remember them.”
And the Every Breath Foundation, to make sure restaurants have no more empty chairs or tables.
Watch: Sting and Zucchero together
One, an icon of British music. The other, an icon of Italian art. Here’s their duet, made for anyone who loves to listen.