Service restrictions

High-end restaurants trying everything to remain in business.

Restaurants across the world have been placed under the cosh by COVID-related restrictions. Those that have remained in operation thus far have adopted many different methods for survival: shifting to delivery, gift cards, food boxes, fundraisers and in some cases the promise of future benefits that could help guarantee longevity.

One such membership initiative is the Stellar Collective, an international dining club, with monthly fees starting now with promises of big perks in the future. High-end restaurants across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay have signed up.

In Colombia, the El Chato restaurant, one of the best in the country, has launched “Cook with You” during the pandemic. The customer selects what they want to eat, how many servings they need and their level of culinary experience and the restaurant delivers the ingredients and instructions to them in a box. Similar initiatives have been adopted by restaurants and chefs across the region.

The manager of a Peruvian restaurant, voted onto the world’s Top 50 list, explained the local situation, “The industry is in a critical state. We are now under the second wave of restrictions and some of us are doing delivery but many others remain closed or have already gone out of business. We obviously want the government to lift the restrictions as soon as possible and ideally give the sector a significant injection of capital.”

“The industry is in a critical state. We are now under the second wave of restrictions and some of us are doing delivery but many others remain closed or have already gone out of business.”

Manager, a World Top 50 restaurant, Peru

Looking hopefully towards a recovery of the sector, an owner of a high-end restaurant chain in Colombia predicts the following, “It will come in three stages. First, the young people will return in groups as they will be desperate to socialise again and have a lower level of fear of the virus. The second wave will come as people start to return to the office and will feel a return to normality, including visiting restaurants and bars. Finally, we won’t have a full recovery until even the most cautious people, who are most at risk, or are most afraid, return.”

“The government needs to remove this quarantine that is destroying the country’s economy. I hope that in a year or two we can recover.”

Restaurant owner, Peru

Another Peruvian restaurant owner commented, “The government needs to remove this quarantine that is destroying the country’s economy. I hope that in a year or two we can recover and that the government gives us the same time period as a grace before we need to start repaying Reactiva loans. We also need to boost tourism with an aggressive outreach campaign.”

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