The food service sector is fretting about the situation it will come up against when restaurants and cafés reopen after the end of this second lockdown.
The reasons for that, explains Petros Kasimatis, who owns the Varnava Café in the Athens neighborhood of Pangrati, are accumulated obligations such as the value-added tax and social security contributions due, and then the tranches for the state loans known as the Deposit To Be Returned. That is when many enterprises in the sector may have to shut down.
It isn’t just small enterprises that are feeling this fear, but also the bigger ones in the industry: “We need a government plan for the entire period until April, when outdoor spaces can operate again,” says Giorgos Melissaris, owner of 12 food catering companies, including the Nikkei restaurants in Kolonaki and on Mykonos. He says that even when the vaccine comes, the sector will not revert to full operation.
These enterprises are particularly sensitive to sudden announcements of lockdown measures, as they typically stock up on supplies for weeks and months ahead, and in March a lot had to be thrown away.