The Welsh Independent Restaurant collective has welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a date for reopening inside venues across the sector on 3rd August, but warned that the future remains uncertain for many in the industry.
Shumana Palit and Paul Grimwood, of the Ultracomida restaurant group (who operate in Narberth and Aberystwyth, as well as running Curado Bar and Vermut in Cardiff) said:
“We are delighted to finally have a date for re-opening so we can begin to move forward as a sector. Whilst sadly this is likely to be too late for some businesses, our focus continues to be on securing jobs and the future of our businesses, and on protecting the health and safety of our staff and customers as we have always done.”
The WIRC – made up of representatives from more than 300 of Wales’ independent restaurants and hospitality businesses – is continuing to highlight the precarious position the industry is in, having reported earlier this week that an estimated 34,000 jobs are at risk across the sector.
The results of the most recent survey undertaken by the collective suggest that 74% of businesses are still expecting job losses that have yet to be implemented as a result of lockdown closure; and only 32% of businesses are planning to open outside only from the 13th July.
The survey was carried out by the Welsh Independent Restaurant Collective on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July.
Natalie Issac, Director of the 44 Group which operates restaurants in Cardiff, Penarth, Cowbridge and Bristol, said:
“Welsh hospitality businesses have had to bear the financial burden of a month of additional losses compared to our counterparts in England, and this is a further month where we cannot utilise the business rate relief to support the economic recovery. We look forward to further constructive discussions with Welsh Government in the coming days and weeks”.