Last Updated on Tuesday, 4 August, 2020 at 8:58 am by Andre Camilleri
A survey conducted by the Association of Catering Establishments found that restaurants strongly agreed with the removal of the non-smoking policy, with the voucher scheme also assisting restaurant performance.
The government vouchers, aimed at aiding the economy during the turbulent period of the COVID-19 pandemic, started being distributed on July 8.
The vouchers did not bring about the expected numbers so far albeit it is still helpful in the situation. 10% of the respondents claimed that 51-75% of their sales were brought about by the voucher scheme.
The majority claimed that only 1-25% of the sales were brought about by the vouchers, with 50% of the respondents answering this, yet there was also a significant amount (25%) that stated that 26-50% of their sales came from these vouchers.
The fact that there were many that responded to only having 1-25% of the sales being brought about by the vouchers, could show that vouchers had little to no effect on their sales.
From a different perspective, the respondents that stated that 51-75% of their sales came through the government vouchers, could show that once people run out of the vouchers, the restaurants will face even more financial difficulties.
When asked whether the voucher scheme was actually helpful for the recovery of restaurants, 17.5% strongly agreed, with 55% agreeing, with just 5% disagreeing with the scheme being put into place.
Amongst these, there was also a significant amount of restaurants that still did not accept the vouchers as they have not received the promised registered letter to download the app. The discrimination in catering establishments came up again whereby clubs catering establishments are only allowed to use blue vouchers.
On the other hand, the removal of the non-smoking policy had plenty of mixed feelings, yet there was a clear indication that it benefited the majority of the restaurants.
Unsurprisingly, 27.5% agree with the fact that the removal of the non-smoking policy resulted in more sales, with a further 15% strongly agreeing with this.17.5% of the respondents did not sell more after the removal of the policy. The rest had no opinion on the matter.
The vast majority (57.5%) of the respondents did not want the ban on smoking to be reinstated, compared to the 17.5% that want it reintroduced in restaurants.
The remaining 25% answered that they are still indecisive on the matter.
80% of the respondents claimed that they did not receive any complaints from other customers because of people smoking whilst seated on tables since the ban was lifted.
These statistics indicate that the removal of the non-smoking policy, as well as the granting of vouchers have helped the vast majority of restaurants, yet there is still plenty of matters to address amongst others the wage supplement scheme amount and timeframe.
With the tourism industry still recovering, the situation is still a very delicate one, but certain problems such as a long waiting time for voucher registration should all be corrected, as this could bring to an end the running of several restaurants and other catering establishments.