Spain’s restaurants and bars from Costa del Sol to Costa Blanca have described the government’s de-escalation plan “irresponsible” and “unviable.”
ACCORDING to many of the country’s associations, such as Malaga’s Hospitality Association (Mahos) and the Alicante Provincial Association of Hospitality Companies (APHEA), the government’s de-escalation phased plan (as reported), will simply lead to thousands of closures.
Mahos President Javier Frutos, described the government’s proposed de-escalation plan as “irresponsible” and “simply not viable for many restaurant and bar businesses.” “There is a lot of indignation in the sector over the phased plan,” confirmed Frutos. “Permitting just a third of customer capacity on terraces for these businesses in the initial phase is simply not financially viable,” he added.
Restaurant and bar owners still have to pay 100 per cent of rent and 100 per cent of salaries, and having only 30 per cent of customers in the terrace/outdoors space, is not financially feasible, pointed out Frutos. “We have to have everything ready and clean as if we can receive 200 clients, but in reality we can just serve a fraction of that. It’s simply not going to be profitable. In reality, these measures are not sustainable and we’ll see thousands of establishments closing down as a result,” he added.
APHEA agrees. According to the Alicante association, opening up with a capacity of just 30 per cent outdoors would be “catastrophic” for members and many businesses will fold permanently with the local industry suffering “short-term ruin.”
Gary Adamson from Costa del Sol’s Bars Abroad and Billy Williams of the Swan Inn on the Costa del Sol are just two of many establishments considering shutting up shop after the government’s announcement. Both are seriously considering exiting the market after hearing about what the phased de-escalation plan entails. “This is becoming farcical. I’ll be sticking my bar on the market in the morning with Bars Abroad. Enough is enough,” stated a frustrated Williams. “I can’t take any more of this. I’m cashing in and off.”