Restaurants will lean more towards local products to boost the economy in the DR
The Dominican Restaurant Association ( Aderes ) is preparing for when the Government orders the restart of its operations in its sector, which were suspended in the context of the health crisis facing the Dominican Republic with the new COVID-19.
In this sense, Rafael Cabrera, president of the entity, explained that “we are working to promote the use of local products, basing the change in the menus on the consumption of these products, in order to boost the DR economy and decrease imports of raw materials from restaurants. Although some will continue to work with imported products, they will decrease their share of the menu.”
In addition, he said that the restaurants work on the implementation of protocols that, at the time of reopening, guarantee social distancing between customers and compliance with the sanitary measures established by the authorities.
He stated that the atmosphere in restaurants plays a fundamental role in attracting customers, so he is making adjustments to his programs, music, and lighting, to adapt to the distance measures.
“Customers can be confident when visiting our facilities, as we are used to handling those levels of cleanliness and hygiene and they will change some things. They will no longer find the tables ‘set up,’ but will be set up after people are seated, while restaurant employees will have protection to be able to provide a reliable service,” he said.
Regarding prices, the president of Aderes explained that the change in the dollar rate will cause an increase in the cost of some products. However, he understands that the time to raise prices is not yet.
On the other hand and contrary to other proposals of some protocols worldwide, that the restaurants would be receiving only 30% of their capacity, in the DR it seeks to expand that margin, so it will be proposed to the corresponding authorities that it be of a 50% since many restaurants can implement distance based on meters.
“It could be 1.5 meters of distance between one table and another,” explained Cabrera, who hopes that in September, maximum, there will be a regular level of occupation in restaurants, as a way of activating the sector.
“Currently there are 600 closed restaurants, generating this more than 15 thousand employees without work,” Cabrera emphasized when interviewed live by the Dominican Association of Tourist Press ( Adompretur ).