• Takings are down by a staggering 80%
  • Landlords refusing to cut rents

By Andrew Atkinson

Many bar and restaurant owners are fearful of closing for good as a result of the latest measures imposed during the coronavirus situation – with bars takings decreasing by a staggering 80 per cent – and some Landlords refusing to cut rents.

Following the introduction of 5pm closing, criticism has been pointed towards some Landlords of premises who refuse to cut monthly rents.

“How long are you expected to carry on under the current situation of the coronavirus outbreak?,” a bar/Restaurant owner told The Leader.

“After almost three months lockdown in March and the current situation I am worried about the future,” they added.

The Vega Baja owner, who will remain anonymous – to protect them from any possible reprisals, said: “It makes it even harder to keep your head above water when monthly rent remains a full payment.”

Following the hospitality and leisure industry financial hit of 80% a €120m package for the sector has been announced by Ximo Puig.

The 80% figure is from the Study of the Economic Impact of Hospitality and Leisure, carried out by the Assembly of the Night Leisure and Camping of the Valencian Community.

A spokesperson said: “While still enjoying the sales or dinners in the gaming halls, in the worst peak of the third wave of the pandemic our sector is stigmatised as the most severe cuts are applied.”

The new business organisation intends to prioritise political negotiation to demand a plan for direct financial aid in a bid to hopefully guarantee the safety of thousands of employees working in bars/restaurants and cafes.

Many bars/restaurants pulled down the shutters for the last time amid the after effects of the coronavirus situation in 2020.

In an attempt to keep swimming against the tide many bars and restaurants are offering unlimited drinks and meal deals – with drinks at €1 and a meal for €5 – along with a pick-up/drop off taxi service.

In a desperate last throw of the dice, on the Landlord rental issue, our bar/restaurant owner source said: “I have spoken to my Landlord about a possible rental reduction, due to the climate at present, with the 5pm closing imposed.

“However, they don’t want to know. I have been told that the full monthly payment is required.”

Following the announcement by President of the Generalitat Ximo Puig for the Valencia Community it could be the final nail in the coffin with the closure of many businesses, taking away the slim lifeline they had of 5pm closing times.

President Puig announced the new measures after a meeting on January 19 of the interdepartmental commission for the prevention and updating of Covid-19, with total closure of the hostelry business in the Valencian Community for 14 days from January 21.

Only take-away service is now allowed, either distributed in premises or through distributors.

Many in the region are serving takeaways, including restaurants in Los Montesinos, El Raso, Benijofar and Villamartin, some with a delivery service.