Tuesday’s action by the food service sector, with the 24-hour closure of restaurants, tavernas, cafes, bars and kebab shops, was unprecedented. In some areas, mainly outside the capital, but even in some Athens suburbs, all food service outlets remained shut, and there was even the participation of some chains.
Record participation was recorded, Kathimerini understands, in areas such as Iraklio, Larissa, Nafplio and Livadia. In other areas, such as on Crete, there was supportive action by traders too, who closed their shops for three hours.
The upside-down chairs on tables that became the norm during the lockdowns were to be seen everywhere, from busy squares such as the main plaza in Nea Smyrni and the popular pedestrian streets of Koukaki to well-known cafes and eateries in Holargos, Agia Paraskevi and Kifissia.
Even delivery network Wolt informed customers that some of the food service outlets it cooperates with would be closed on Tuesday.
Due to the strike there were long queues outside bakeries that also serve coffee and other drinks.
Food service entrepreneurs are demanding offsetting measures for the loss of revenues due to the latest government measures aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus by the unvaccinated. “These are measures that reduce our potential clientele by up to 50%, shrinking our turnover dramatically and aggravating the sustainability problem that the food service sector faces, with major consequences on employment,” said the head of the Federation of Restaurant Enterprises (POESE), Giorgos Kavvathas.
He added that companies in the sector were already seeing a drop in turnover between 40% and 50% in the first 10 days of the new restrictions.
The sector’s entrepreneurs staged a rally in Syntagma Square, with Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis meeting them and discussing their demands with them on the spot. The minister noted that some 29,000 enterprises in the industry have received state support through the special program for food service, and the aim is to have a proper Christmas.