'As restaurants re-open, lobbying for on-site alcohol consumption will continue'
Under adjusted Level 3 regulations restaurants will be able to open their doors on Monday after months of lockdown closure.
There are no limits on numbers as long as strict Covid-19 protocols are adhered to, but no alcohol consumption will be allowed on-site.
While the re-opening is a win for the industry, the alcohol ban will affect business says Jeff Rosenberg, Cape chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa)
That's why lobbying for that rule also to be relaxed will continue, he says.
Not only could the ban deter potential diners, but distressed businesses need the mark-up profit that comes with serving alcohol.
"An integral part of enjoying a good meal is at least to have a glass of wine with it" says Rosenberg.
This is the next phase that needs to be lobbied for... We get the understanding about on-site consumption, but if one could make a proviso that as long as it's with your meal, in the establishment, that's fine and not in your bars and shebeens etcetera.Jeff Rosenberg, Chair - Fedhasa Cape
A lot of establishments were banking on the possibility of the Ters benefits being extended past the end of June... but we believe that is not going to be the case... It helped in the short term but going forward, regrettably, there are going to be businesses that will not re-open.Jeff Rosenberg, Chair - Fedhasa Cape
Government's argument is that if restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol, other establishments like taverns will start applying for restaurant licenses.
The hospitality industry will also be lobbying for further concessions around conferencing.
According to the Tourism Minister's latest update a maximum of 50 people will now be allowed at conference and meeting venues, while casinos will be allowed to fill 50% of their floor space.
Rosenberg points out that many hotels offer conferencing facilities and will be allowed to accommodate attendees as guests because it is for business purposes, not leisure.
Why couldn't that [casino regulation] be applied to conferencing, because if one looks at a conference venue that can seat hundreds of people it would have been great to if the limits would be 50% of floor space.Jeff Rosenberg, Chair - Fedhasa Cape
Rosenberg adds that more clarity will be provided around accommodation regulations next week and he's hopeful of just a possibility of good news.
The industry is very well placed to open up and we just have to hope and pray that working with the authorities we can ensure that more of our facilities are opened in the very near future to, in particular, safeguard jobs and people's livelihoods as well as the sustainability of the businesses themselves.Jeff Rosenberg, Chair - Fedhasa Cape
Listen to the interview with Rosenberg below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'As restaurants re-open, lobbying for on-site alcohol consumption will continue'
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