New reactions from food service entrepreneurs after a barrage of cancellations

New Year’s Eve cancellations are a financial disaster for the restaurant business, says Giorgos Kavathas, president of the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurant and Related Professions and head of the General Confederation of Professional Craftsmen of Greece

Securing existing jobs by reactivating the measure of suspensions of employment contracts is important, but it does not solve the problems of the food service industry that is called to give once again a battle for survival,  according to sector entrepreneurs.

We have a rain of cancellations for tonight’s New Year’s Eve, said George Kavathas, president of the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurants and Related Professions (POESE), and described the extension of the schedule as foolish, especially for tonight.

The already burdened catering industry is once again entering a deep lockdown with huge consequences, said Mr. Kavvathas, speaking to public broadcaster ERT.

It still remains to be fully clarified as the ministerial decisions have not been announced yet:

– Do the new measures for music also apply to nightclubs and taverns? he wondered. And what about the bars and other shops in the industry?

– Why do casinos remain open after 12?

We are waiting for clarifications and equality, said Mr. Kavathas.

“The industry has 320,000 jobs. If the companies close, we will immediately have losses of 100,000 employees from the market. “Since February, we have asked the government to make vaccination mandatory for all catering workers,” Mr. Kavathas noted.

The new restrictive measures that have shaken up the reservations for tonight’s New Year’s Eve (it is estimated that 40-50% of the reservations have been canceled) were the fatal blow, say the entrepreneurs of the industry, as at the same time with the informal lockdown they have to face the wave of price increases, in energy and in the many items it needs as supplies.

According to the POESE, throughout the pandemic, the majority of catering businesses lost more than 50% of their turnover.

At the same time, both companies with zero liquidity (1 in 3 companies have zero cash available) and those with overdue debts doubled (more than 4 in 10 have overdue debts only to the tax authorities and the insurance funds).

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