After weeks of an economically costly lockdown, restaurants are preparing to reopen their doors to customers but others have not survived and have decided to remain shut.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced that restaurants would be allowed to open again for sit-down service, provided that they adhered to strict hygiene measures.
The government has yet to publish specific regulations but some owners said that if there were too many limitations, they would not be able to break-even.
Christian Maiorana from the Tshwane Tourism Association said that they’d spoken to hundreds of restaurant owners across the country and the outlook was grim.
“We can expect at least 20-30% of restaurants won’t reopen, no matter what the conditions are. They’ve basically already thrown in the towel.”
Many of those expecting to reopen for sit-down meals won’t be able to employ all their staff, as weeks of not trading has seen turnover plummet.
Selling alcohol for consumption, which is currently prohibited, is critical to turning a profit, as beerhouse founder and a representative at the Hospitality Alliance, Randolf Jorberg explains.
“Not giving us any legal way to sell liquor will only mean further job losses.”
In Cape Town, the Larder Cafe, Smak Delicatessen and The Kitchen, owned by popular chef Karen Dudley, have shut their doors in recent weeks.
It’s expected many more across the country will follow suit.