Resilient food service entrepreneurs and the Covid-19 pandemic

Resilient food service entrepreneurs and the Covid-19 pandemic

Elisa Martinelli - Francesca De Canio - Giuseppe Nardin

Objectives. The paper aims at exploring the impact of entrepreneur’s resilience and Covid-19 fear on the performance of food service businesses. As in micro- and small-businesses the individual and the business sides are strictly intertwined, resilience may be investigated using not only the entrepreneurial lens but also the psychological/clinical ones. Indeed, individual fear of the Covid-19 infection can alter the entrepreneur’s approach in managing the business.

Methodology. The study consisted in administering a structured questionnaire to a sample of food service entrepreneurs (N. 139). Data was processed applying a linear regression analysis.

Findings. The work evidences that the fear of getting infected by the Covid-19 virus reduces business performance. However, the resilience capacity nurtured by food service businesses counteracts this negative impact.

Research limits. The work is explorative in nature and requires further investigation. The Covid-19 pandemic is still on-the-going while resilience should be studied after an adequate time span. However, it is important to immediately understand the phenomenon – due to its unprecedent effects and the lack of previous knowledge.

Practical implications. The food service sector is within the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. A deeper knowledge on the effects of the pandemic on business performance can enable small food service entrepreneurs to better rely and highly invest in their resilience capacity to face crises. It gives guidance to policy makers to support this goal.

Originality of the study. Business resilience continues to be scantly investigated in extant management literature on small firms. Moreover, studies on entrepreneurs’ psychological resilience are concentrated on personality traits rather than concerns, such as individual fear. Thus, exploring the impact of Covid-19 fear to get infected on business performance is novel.

#Covid-19 pandemic #fear of getting infected #food service #micro and small enterpreneur #Resilience