Restaurant owners struggling to keep doors open and avoid job losses
It has been a difficult time for the restaurant industry since the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown with some establishments being forced to close their doors.
On Wednesday restaurant owners and staff held protests to highlight the impact of the pandemic on business.
Joanne Joseph spoke to The Local Grill owner Steve Maresch and Marina Appelbaum, owner of Nikos Coalgrill Greek Restaurant, RocoMama's and Old Ducky French Café, to understand the scale of the problem.
Maresch says his restaurant has had no revenue for the duration of the lockdown.
We've been really closed since the beginning of the lockdown. All of our staff have not been able to get back to work. The volunteers who have come around and worked in the soup kitchen, fortunately, have had something to do but we haven't had revenue for the duration of 118 days.Steve Maresch, Owner - The Local Grill
Takeout business has not been at all good for us .... we have 34 staff at the restaurant permanently, all of which have not been able to work.Steve Maresch, Owner - The Local Grill
Every now and again we do get a table of two or four and we are very happy to serve them a meal but that certainly is not the way we will be able to survive.Steve Maresch, Owner - The Local Grill
It's not looking great.Steve Maresch, Owner - The Local Grill
Appelbaum shares some of the struggles her businesses have had to endure and the changes they have had to make.
It's the haphazard nature. We are allowed to sell alcohol, we have a curfew, we don't have a curfew, those are the limitations that I am really struggling with. Our profits are greatly reduced, and what we then have to look at is streamline and unfortunately, the actual casualty of that are these amazing staff members that can't really come back right now.Marina Appelbaum, Restaurant owner
We have looked at having two different teams coming in - one on the Monday and the following on a Tuesday, but that still doesn't help with 50 staff members who sadly are now looking at retrenchment.Marina Appelbaum, Restaurant owner
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