SA restaurants call to reopen doors in level 3
With the South African government considering a proposal to move the country to level 3 of the national coronavirus lockdown, restaurants have called to reopen their doors for in-house service.
Addressing the nation earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government was preparing for a further easing of the lockdown and a gradual opening of the economy, from the current level, which is level 4.
At this moment, the regulations allow only for the delivery of food and only during daytime non-curfew hours, 9am to 7pm.
According to BusinessTech, a lobby group called The Restaurant Collective said the continued lockdown in the country could well be a nail in the coffin for the restaurant industry as they were running at a loss, and operating on deliveries alone was not profitable for many.
Speaking on the Midday Report on Radio 702 with Clement Manyathela this week to give more insight into the matter, chief executive officer of the Restaurant Association of South Africa Wendy Alberts said operating on takeaways only, had been dire for the industry.
Alberts said the pressure at this point was critical to the industry and the repercussions of all their restaurants and the operations through the takeaway delivery sector had been dramatic on their finances.
“We are seeing that we are getting deeper and deeper into debt and that is not good for the industry. I don't even think we have yet seen the damage happening in the restaurant industry that is still going to come as a wave of heat. We are going to see a whole transformation of the restaurant industry in the near future. Words like liquidation and closure of restaurants are imminent at this time. It's a conversation we have every single day with a number of restaurants,” she said.
Asked about the safety measures restaurants have in place if sit-ins are to be allowed on level 3, Albert said restaurants had known for many years to have high self standards and were well prepared.
She said they had a number of international partners who supported the restaurant industry in the execution of health and safety measures.