Business & Pleasure June 30, 2020 | 1:34 pm

Between 30 – 35% of Dominican restaurants have gone bankrupt after COVID- 19

The president of the Dominican Restaurant Association (Aderes), Rafael Cabrera, revealed that between 30 and 35% of the restaurants will fail due to their total closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and said the number of jobs that segment of the sector will be lost.

“It is a very difficult situation and I don’t want to disappoint the employees very much, because afterward, they make me bitter. And restaurants work as a family,” he said while highlighting the importance of this human capital that is formed and appreciated by companies.

He stressed that the members of Aderes are mostly in Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Punta Cana and generate more than 15 thousand direct jobs and involve a wide value chain that includes all the sectors that supply them and that have also been paralyzed.

He said that COVID-19 has been disastrous for the sector because it had been growing and taking possession locally and internationally and the pandemic has brought it to a complete standstill.

Cabrera further explained that all the members of the association have their employees in the Employee Solidarity Assistance Fund (FASE) program and most of them are totally unemployed.

He indicated that restaurants need to continue the PHASE and low-rate, long-term financing to pay since new investments and inventory restoration are required.

The Aderes president said that the incorporation of employees to work will be done in stages, as demand increases. He said that they expect it to be 30% of its capacity in principle and that this figure will increase over time.

Adaptation. Cabrera added that many restaurants have moved their operations with home deliveries and take-out food, but sales in this way are very minimal, barely 15 or 10%, which does not produce great benefits, so many prefer to be closed.

He noted that in April when the sale of food was authorized in this way, many restaurants opened and closed again as their sales were minimal, but this situation was contrary to the premises that specialize in fast food, whose volume of sale by delivery or take out is high. “It is not advisable to light a kitchen for you to sell such a minimal number. You spend more on employees, energy, and rents than what you are generating,” he said.

He recalled that the restaurant is designed not for delivery or take out since its customers prefer to be there for the atmosphere, the experience, the music, the treatment, and comfort.

Cabrera said further that the restaurants will open on July 1 along with the entire tourism sector and also have protocols that were agreed upon with the Ministries of Public Health and Tourism.