ZAGREB, September 10, 2020 – Over 600 restaurant and bar owners in Kvarner and Istria today closed their facilities for an hour, starting from 11.55 am, to warn about the difficulties they are facing due to epidemiological restrictions and to ask for assistance in order to survive until the next season.
The association of Kvarner and Istria restaurant and cafe owners, which initiated the campaign held under the slogan “Let us close today to stay open tomorrow”, said that the campaign was successful. The goal was to encourage responsible institutions to urgently take action to preserve jobs in the sector and prevent its collapse.
The head of the above-mentioned association and the deputy head of the national association of restaurant and cafe owners, Vedran Jakominic, said that stakeholders in the hospitality sector were calling for a preferential VAT rate on food and beverages. He also said that they were having difficulties in obtaining loans and that it was necessary to provide stakeholders in the hospitality sector with access to liquidity loans.
“Let us work, pay employees, rents, fees and taxes because s scorched earth can bear no fruit. We believe that you are doing what you think is right, but let the profession tell you that you have made a mistake,” Jakominic said.
He pointed out that job-retention measures had saved workers in restaurants and cafes from lay-offs but that they had not saved entrepreneurs.
He said that a survey had shown that 60% of stakeholders in the hospitality sector had seen a drop in business of over 50% and 40% estimated that they would not survive until the next season in the current conditions. About 80% will have to cancel employment contracts, said Jakominic, who noted that there could be about 20,000 lay-offs in the hospitality sector.