The restaurants in Costa Rica will have an increase in sales between 10% and 15% as a result of the one-hour reduction of the vehicular circulation restrictions. Despite this, Jorge Figueroa, President of the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants (Cacore), stated that with the two hours of delay requested at the time from the government, that is, to pass the restriction of 9:00 p.m. at 11:00 p.m., it would have generated an increase of 20% to 30% for restaurants.
“(One more hour) does help, because you don’t have to be mean and rather be appreciative; but it was not what we asked for, it is not what we need and we are the economic sector most sacrificed right now”, stressed Figueroa. Figueroa recalled that the best moment for restaurants is dinner time, since the greatest number of people and families come for this meal time.
He said that 98% of the establishments are microenterprises and family businesses, adding that around 5,000 restaurant businesses closed due to the Pandemic. From August 9th to August 31st, the government changed the start time of the vehicle circulation restriction, since it passed now to be in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
More jobs will be generated
Figueroa indicated that personnel whose working hours had been reduced or those who work at night will probably be called back to work during the day. “It will not generate as much as if it had been two hours, but it will help a little with the issue of unemployment, informality and underemployment,” explained Figueroa.
Many issues pending
He argued that the strong claim of the sector is that it has sacrificed in an important way, stating that the government does not help, questioning that if a capacity of 50% is imposed, then how come they have to pay 100% of the municipality patent, licenses, social charges, among other taxes.
He added that there is no will of the authorities to help the restaurant sector in the face of the impacts of the Pandemic. Stating that it was expected that for the Mother’s Day holiday establishments would be allowed to be open longer, but that did not happen. Figueroa pointed out that for next week they will carry out an analysis of the impact generated during the first week with the new schedule.