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Sit-down restaurants have been battered as hard, if not harder, than other sectors of the South African economy because of the Covid pandemic and its associated restrictions.
Hard lockdowns and then extended curfews – along with social distancing measures – saw customer numbers and profitability plummet to the extent that many restaurants, some of which had been running for decades, were forced to close down.
Thousands of staff in the businesses and the associated supplier ecosystem were retrenched.
A number of restaurants banded together last year to help each other and promote sit-down dining.
That has now been formalised into The Restaurant Collective – including tavern owners through the Liquor Traders Association – which has pledged to work to make dining out an experience free from health worries.
One of the ways they are doing that is by encouraging restaurant owners to get their staff vaccinated to make the environment as safe as possible.
We welcome this commitment to explain to people that vaccinations are safe, to dispel myths and encourage vaccine awareness and uptake.
It is to be hoped that restaurants will move towards publicly indicating their “fully vaxxed” status so customers can make a choice on where to eat, based on where they feel safe.
FOOD AND DRINK