The Association for Catering Establishments welcomes the news that restaurants and catering establishments are to reopen till midnight as from 24 May. Monday 10 May, most from the catering sector shall be reopening for business for a second time while being asked to close at 5pm. So the news that this extreme time condition on catering establishments whose main revenue stream is generated by evening diners is not more than a fourteen day span is welcome news.
The ACE also appreciates the efforts in the rapid effort by health authorities for speedy vaccination roll-out and the public’s strong cooperation in meeting this health appeal. The ACE kindly asks that the public in general fully comprehends what the restaurateur industry has been going through during these very difficult months and cooperate in full to adhere to customer health guidelines.
The need for the issuing of vouchers is an outright priority, even though ACE foresees that people are eagerly looking forward to the reopening of our establishments, given the fifteen month span of time of this pandemic has taken its toll on the income of most, an immediate cash flow injection of vouchers will once again re-stimulate revenue streams for the hospitality sector as a whole as had happened last summer.
ACE kindly points out that ‘no shows’ on reservations have a very negative impact of the sustainability of the restaurant industry, especially while seating is still restricted to almost one third of the original capacity. Consequently, ACE calls on clients of restaurants to advise the establishments in case one needs to cancel reservations.
Furthermore, ACE highlights the importance of strict enforcement being implemented, and any wrongdoers as had happened in the past will not get away with just a slap on the wrist, but stricter enforcement must be undertaken. ACE had reiterated that when being forced to close down a second time on 5 March, a whole sector fell victim as a result of lack of enforcement. While stressing on stricter enforcement ACE also requests that common sense prevails when effecting inspections, respecting peak business hours and defining between major and minor infringements, where common sense has to prevail. The sector cannot sustain any further closures, so the wrongdoers this time around have to be seriously dealt with accordingly.
ACE concludes by sincerely thanking Minister Clayton Bartolo and Minister Miriam Dalli for consistent consultation and support throughout these extremely difficult times, while sincerely hoping that this nerve wrecking saga is finally coming to an end.