The food service and bar industry has seen a 25 percent drop in turnover due to the midnight closing time of all establishments introduced to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
According to industry representatives, the measure puts even more pressure on businesses at a difficult time while also leading to job cuts.
Specifically, there are concerns for employees who work afternoon shifts (6 p.m. – 2 a.m.) as the reduction of working hours automatically reduces the amount of hours they can put in.
“The measure is a disaster,” businessmen in the industry say, noting that several companies, upon hearing the government announcement, decided to suspend their operations so as not to incur additional costs.
They also estimate that about 20-25% of businesses that usually operate seasonally (May-October) did not open at all this year, while 160,000 seasonal employees were not hired.
The industry may eventually seek financial support from the state.