Slow business at ‘safe zone’ restaurants in PoS

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pedestrians walk along Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook – File photo/ Ayanna Kinsale

Restaurants that decided to become covid19 safe zones have reported low sales in the first two weeks of reopening.

Since October 11, companies that include restaurants, bars, gyms, water parks, cinemas and casinos have been able to open only for vaccinated customers.

Staff must also be fully vaccinated and each company can only operate at 50 per cent capacity.

On a Newsday tour of several restaurants in the north of Trinidad, it was possible to check the health measures in the establishments that had adopted the safe-zone approach.

Tables and chairs at 50 percent in the halls, reduced staff and especially few clients were observed on Tuesday.

Imran Lutchman, manager of Passage to Asia on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, said despite the measures, sales are still slow.

“On the weekends there has been better movement, although still very different from normal times,” Lutchman said.

When customers enter the restaurant an employee requests their vaccination cards and they also have sanitiser and a nearby thermometer.

Of the restaurant’s usual 32 workers, only 11 are at work.

“Everyone is fully vaccinated and happy to be back after several months out of work,” he said.

Lutchman said with the lifting of more restrictions, which will include alcohol consumption starting November 1, he expects better sales.

“The Christmas season is approaching and many of our customers make reservations in advance, hopefully things continue to move forward.”

Newsday tried to talk with the managers of other restaurants, but they preferred to wait, hoping opportunities for their businesses will expand.