WATCH: Some restaurants opt to stay closed for dine-ins as frustration among owners grows
Financial demands of new measures are increasing their burdens.
Despite restaurants being permitted to entertain diners at their establishments as from this Friday, several restaurant owners around Malta and Gozo have aired their frustration as their financial burden increases due to the new measures that will have to be implemented.
TV chef and Crust owner Sean Gravina took to Facebook in an impassioned speech detailing the plight of local restaurant owners. In the video, Sean explains that since credit terms have now ended, payments across Malta needed to be coughed up which he confirms run into millions. As well as rent issues, with landlords turning a blind eye to restaurateurs' struggles, employees will be working longer hours thus higher wages will need to be issued.
Sean linked this to the issue of indoor and outdoor dining, with restaurants who have a terrace only allowed to operate outside: "The situation is that if restaurant has an outside terrace, a 2m distance needs to be kept and if restaurant has indoor facilities must respect a social distance of 3m, but these need to be used inside AND outside," he stressed. "We can't have a situation where we can't use all the property available because the financial burdens will increase and aggravate. If we can use both outside and inside while adhering to the measures announced, we should open and work, or else we might as well not open."
Meanwhile, New York Best and Fat Louie's co-founder Nicholas Diacono confirmed his establishments in Sliema and St Julian's will not be amongst the restaurants reopening this Friday. Instead, they will continue to operate on a take away or pick up basis. Justifying his decision, Nicholas said: "Safety comes first, let's do this right."
Star of India in San Pawl il-Bahar also plans to continue its operations through take aways and deliveries. Explaining the reason behind their decision, the restaurant said in a Facebook post that: "Due to the numerous regulations to be put in place in such a short time, we have decided to remain closed for dine ins for the time being."