Curfew at 10 p.m. It means losses for restaurants of up to 30% with respect to their billing if life were to close just one hour later. If to this are added the decrease in billing implicit in the capacity limitations, “losses reach 60% and up to 75%”. This has been stated by different representatives of the sector in the Islands, who say that it is the change in time back home that is harming their businesses the most since “the dinner service is completely lost.” Restaurateurs consider that, when the Government allows them to close at elevenThey are capable of “defending the business”, however the closure at ten o’clock forces many owners of premises to decide to close “de facto” even earlier, once the meals are over.
“Many restaurateurs have decided to close at noon,” says Fermín Sánchez, president of the Association of Entrepreneurs of Bars, Cafes, Restaurants and Leisure of Las Palmas (Aebcryo), which indicates that even so, the losses amount to 50% of the turnover normal given the lower influx of customers in meals and mid-morning service, as a consequence of the fact that a large part of the employees – private and public – are teleworking. “To give a good dinner service we should start at 7.30 pm, but this custom is more common among foreigners,” argues Ramón Fariña, president of the Tenerife Association of Restoration and Leisure Entrepreneurs (AERO).
If the representatives agree on something, it is that they have not yet received a good explanation about why “closing an hour before prevents infections”. In addition, they defend that, by closing the premises earlier, the population is more likely to gather in their homes, where “no security measures are followed.” “Serious measures must be put in place for those who break the law, whether in restaurants or at home,” insists Fariña. From participating more actively in technical tables when making decisions until the possibility of subsidizing these losses is assessed during the time that the restrictions remain active, are some of the suggestions that the representatives of the sector consider that they should be implemented in order to alleviate this “disappointing and disappointing” scenario that businessmen and workers in the sector have been facing for more than a year. “We believe that you have to have work tables to explain how real life works,” insists Fariña. Because employers believe that subsidies are not going to be the panacea or the end of problems. In the case of the line of aid launched by the Government of the Canary Islands, businessmen criticize that they have too many requirements to access them and that they are only intended for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). “You should have a 30% loss in billing and there are many businesses that will not be able to access it because they reach 27%, even if they are not earning anything,” says Carlos Quintero, vice president of AERO. To this is added, as Fariña indicates, that “they only take into account the drop in turnover and not the loss of profits.” In addition, as they are intended only for SMEs, “they forget between 15 and 20 companies in Tenerife that provide a lot of work,” says Quintero. For Sánchez, the subsidies have been “a disappointment.” “We thought it was going to help us, but it will not be like that,” insists the representative of the Las Palmas hotel industry, who also recalls that the loss will only be assessed in the “second half of the year.
State aid could partially alleviate the deficiencies of the regional ones, but the sector has already found technical gaps in implementation. For example, in the obligation to be up to date with Social Security payments and taxes, since many businesses have lost so much that it has been impossible for them to have these expenses in order. “All aid is welcome, but its viability will have to be seen.”