The hospitality industry considers it unfeasible to open with capacities below 60%

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Employers Hospitality of Spain, Aecoc and Fiab prepare a guide that focuses on guaranteeing security and distance measures, instead of establishing an opening with a linear percentage of capacity as established by the Executive. In addition, they request the flexibility of the ERTE or the cancellation of rentals as formulas to reduce the costs of the sector and avoid the disappearance of companies.

“Opening with 30% of the capacity is unfeasible. There may be a terrace or a neighborhood bar that does so in the face of the despair of being at stake, but in general it will not happen. We proposed to the Executive that it reduce the capacity by 30% and open it to 70%, but it has done the opposite. At first I thought that Sánchez had been wrong to give the figure, but no, “says José Luis Yzuel, president of Hospitality in Spain.

The manager considers “very difficult to open below 60% and always accompanying this measure along with others” that alleviate the cost situation of the sector because “if you lose 50% of your income but keep 100% of your expenses, going back to the activity is also not viable”.

The hospitality association has prepared an action guide together with Aecoc and Fiab, the employers of the large consumer and food and beverage industries, to collect all the needs of the sector’s value chain. The text generally advocates establishing common sanitation and distancing measures, but not establishing a linear capacity percentage., since the circumstances of each establishment should establish that figure.

“We ask the government for collaboration. That it does not act unilaterally and that it collaborate with the sectors involved. We are aware that the decision is yours, but we are the ones who know the sector “, says Mauricio García de Quevedo, CEO of Fiab. The executive considers it necessary “to maximize liquidity levels, reduce the impact on employment and take measures to reactivate demand.”

Necessary measures

The three associations consider it necessary make ERTEs more flexible until at least the end of the year in order to be able to recover employment as the activity does, as well as reduce VAT of the sector (Germany has lowered it from 19% to 7%), establish an annulment or reduction proportional to the drop in the rental business or activate a line of microcredit for SMEs.

“It is very difficult to speak of de-escalation if the legal insecurity that exists, for example with the ERTE, is not solved. It is a measure that has been raised thinking about a way out of the crisis in V, but this is not realistic“says José María Bonmatí, CEO of Aecoc. In his opinion, it is key that the reopening be done with confidence because” the sector is doing well in it. ”

“How can one speak of reopening when we do not know even one of the measures that must accompany it,” asks José Luis Yzuel. The President of Hospitality has also responded to the statements of Minister Teresa Ribera, who pointed out that those businesses that are not comfortable with the Government’s plan may not open. “I agree with her on that. He who is not comfortable will not open,” says Yzuel, who regretted that the minister “will leave sensitivity at home” when she spoke those words.

Sector reconversion

Hospitality of Spain considers that the sector is in “a situation of reconversion, as it happened before with coal or shipping companies, and for this reason it needs aid”, indicates its president. The most affected areas will be the islands and the Mediterranean, which will add the collapse of tourism to the decrease in national demand. “The fall of the business is going to be the Mariana Trench,” said Yzuel.

The sector considers that the small premises will be the ones that will suffer the most, although it believes that “We are still in time to correct the government’s plan. If we are not realistic, the number of deaths of companies can be doubled, “says Hostelería de España.

José María Bonmatí, CEO of Aecoc, shares the logic of “an asymmetric reopening by region, but based on security and not on gauging. The diversity of hospitality must be understood and that is why the key is not the capacity, but to guarantee distance, which depends on each location, and trust. ”

The sector also criticizes the discrimination of the hospitality industry with respect to other activities. They do not understand, for example, that the terraces are opened on May 11 but they are not allowed to operate until the end of the month inside the premises, when no other similar distinction has been made in other sectors. Nor is it talking about putting partitions when, for example, it is allowed to travel on municipal buses leaving only one empty seat out of two, which does not guarantee the safety distance, and without resorting to these types of measures.

The plan proposed by the sector

The Safe reopening guide that the three employers have prepared and that they have sent to the Executive includes from general recommendations to concrete measures. On a personal level, Issues such as avoiding physical contact with customers when greeting them, wearing masks, training the templates are established on the Covid-19 and extreme hygiene measures.

At the service provision level, it is recommended to have hydroalcoholic gel in places accessible for customer use, to control the necessary capacity that each location must have to comply with the recommended safety and distance, encourage payment by credit cards, use single-use tablecloths or disinfect dataphones and vending machines after each use.

It also advocates not deliver letters, but sing them or use blackboards; store auxiliary elements of the service (crockery, glassware, cutlery, table linen, bread baskets, coffee cups, sugar …) in closed areas; and eliminate self-service products like napkin rings or toothpick holders.

The guide also includes a protocol on how the premises should receive, store and treat the raw materials that arrive at their establishments. protocol for those businesses that make home deliveries or allow collection at their premises takeaway food.

The document talks about aspects such as avoiding crowds and respecting safety distances at the bar, room service or on the terraces. And take as a reference the recommendations of the World Health Organization that this distance be at least one and a half meters between tables and one meter at high tables or between groups of people.

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