SA Restaurants Call For Lifting Of Restrictions

The restaurant sector says they are on a knife-edge and are waiting to see whether lockdown restrictions, on several fronts, will be eased.


Warning that the restrictions on the restaurant sector are not sustainable, the restaurants in South Africa are now calling for restrictions to be less stricter and have restaurants stay open longer.

The sector has had to bare the negative impacts of Covid-19 ever since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced harsher restrictions on the sector when he moved the country to adjusted level 4 back in June to combat the third wave of infections.

The owner of the upmarket Rockets restaurant in Johannesburg, Shaun Barber, says that in addition to the struggles they're currently experiencing, the current alcohol ban has had a huge impact on the decline of their food sales.

What people don't realise, with regard to the alcohol ban, is that for instance, Rockets is quite an alcohol-centric establishment, we run probably 65% on beverages and 35% on food and what people don't understand is that 35% spent on food is done by people while they are drinking.

Barber also says that the 9pm curfew also has a negative impact on much of their day to day operations as they often find themselves having to close their establishment two hours before the actual curfew due to preparatory measures.

The restaurant owner also points out that closure of regulated establishments such as his own often results in the emergence of unregulated industries which, in turn, has additional adverse effects on their survival within the industry.

Under the current level 4 lockdown, restrictions for restaurants and bars include: A ban of alcohol (both on and off-consumption), a new curfew of 9 pm to 4 am with closing time at 8 pm and no sit-down service but takeaways and deliveries are allowed.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation regarding an update on the current Covid-19 regulations on Sunday 25 July. 


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