Owners of catering establishments in Dubrovnik are not satisfied with the behaviour of town authorities.
Reacting to decisions presented by the Dubrovnik town authorities to change the terms of rental of business premises and other local regulations, the Dubrovnik Association of Caterers issued three requests to Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković.
1. Town authorities’ decisions affecting a particular sector must be made only after consultations with the representatives of the sector.
2. Town authorities’ decisions must be made in a transparent manner and with equal effect on all businesses.
3. Town authorities’ decisions must be published in a timely and regulated manner so that business entities affected by a decision can prepare for the next business year.
The cafe and restaurant owners reacted to a change of regulations whereby the rent of the town-owned premises would increase by up to 60 percent, which means that some catering facilities would have to pay up to 750,000 kunas more in additional costs. The decision to shorten the period for playing music at cafes to 11.30 pm (instead of midnight) will also negatively affect the quality of customer experience.
President of the Dubrovnik Association of Caterers Ante Vlašić expressed concern about a lack of tourist and economic strategy for the town development. “A new tourist season is about to start, and this kind of irrational decisions will deteriorate the quality of tourism in Dubrovnik. We ask Mayor Franković, in accordance with his pre-election promises, to make all decision only after consultations with experts and the people whom those decisions directly affect. We believe that the Mayor has made the decision without being informed about the consequences. We, therefore, ask for changes in regulations to be done transparently and to equally affect all businesses. And, finally, the town must not pass decisions overnight. They have to be announced in a timely manner so that everyone can adapt and make changes to their business plans for the next year. Dubrovnik, as the crown jewel of Croatian tourism, should be a model for successful co-operation between local authorities and entrepreneurs, and not be a town which forces entrepreneurs to leave,” said Vlašić.
Vlašić also commented on the decision to limit the period for playing music. “Shorting the period to 11.30 pm would improve public order in the town less then it would have been improved if the communal officers would regularly carry out controls and sanction those who violate existing communal regulations. We insist on respecting the public order, and we support punishments for all those who ignore it.”
The Dubrovnik Association of Caterers called on Mayor Franković and the town authorities to review their decisions and start a dialogue with representatives of the sector which has paid 400 million kunas into the town budget in the last six years.
The Association was founded in March 2017 with the aim of protecting the rights of businesses and tradesmen engaged in catering activities in the Dubrovnik area. Association’s members employ approximately 1,500 people.