‘Restaurant sector has yet to recover from pandemic crisis’

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Situation may continue for another 5 years

KUWAIT CITY, March 5: The head of the Kuwaiti Federation of Restaurants, Cafés and Catering Services Fahd Al-Arbash said that the restaurants and cafes sector is still suffering from the consequences of the corona virus pandemic, despite the passage of more than two years since the outbreak of this pandemic, reports Al-Anba daily. In a statement he added the suffering of the restaurant sector in Kuwait is expected to continue for about 5 years unless the state moves at more than one level to support the local economy on the one hand, and open the way for the movement of tourism and employment on the other hand, especially that a large segment of the owners of restaurants and cafes have become crippled with big fi- nancial loans due to accumulated rents during the closure period of commercial and economic activities, in addition to employee salaries and other entitlements.

Al-Arbash stressed that despite the return of life to normal in the country, the activity of the restaurant sector has not returned to its previous era, as evidenced by the fact that the movement of restaurants during the National Day and Liberation Day did not do business as usual, because a large segment of citizens and residents preferred to travel abroad.

Al-Arbash added that a large percentage of restaurants have become dependent in their work on “delivery of orders”. It was clear the demand for orders decreased during the last holidays because many people either traveled abroad or spent time in chalets. He said that the restaurants that benefited from the citizens’ turnout were those restaurants located in major commercial complexes, but these restaurants constitute only 20% of the total restaurants operating in Kuwait, and therefore the rest of the restaurants, which constitute 80% of the total restaurants, witnessed a signifi- cant decline in their revenues.

At the same time, Al-Arbash drew attention to the significant rise in the prices of many foodstuffs, noting that this rise greatly affected the profits of restaurants and cafes that remained committed to their price list, which prompts the question about the ability of these restaurants to continue and withstand the high food prices. The stability of restaurant prices and the absence of state support for young people in charge of these restaurants have to a great extent put a dent on their dreams

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