Restaurant, confectionery sector among most affected by COVID-19

Chefs Kitchen- Masks
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AMMAN — Businesses have gradually started to work normally since the beginning of this month, now that restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been eased, but it will take some time for many to recover, especially those that suffered most.اضافة اعلان

Omar Al-Awwad, the head of the Jordanian Union of Restaurant and Confectionery Proprietors, said that the impact of the government’s mitigating measures related to the pandemic, which went into effect at the beginning of this month, is limited and does not directly affect the sector.

He urged that measures take into account the slow commercial movement and the decline in demand for restaurant and patisserie products.

Awwad also complained about the high prices of certain products, such as oil and grains. The price of vegetable oil rose from JD24 to JD30 in two days and the price of a tonne of chickpeas rose by JD420 in one day, he said, adding that restaurant price lists must be adjusted, as restaurants began to lose significantly within a few days.

According to the government, Awwad said, this is not due to the impact of the pandemic alone, but also to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Awwad said that the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply is not dealing with the price increase correctly, and urged the to monitor the markets and the apparent chaos in prices, as well as to come up with plans in support of restaurants, which have been severely affected from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government should ask banks and financial institutions to postpone payment of installments and extend the period taken by various government institutions to grant official licenses to restaurants, said Awwad, adding that restaurant owners are currently “drowning” in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy.

Overall, Awwad said, the sector has deteriorated by more than 80 percent, and is not expected to improve anytime soon; rather, the situation will worsen “as long as the government, and particularly the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, does not cooperate with this sector”.

Restaurant owner Husam Al-Akash told Jordan News: “I am now thinking of closing the restaurant I have”, adding that what most impacts the sector is the citizens’ low purchasing power, “which has led them to avoid eating out as much as they used to.”

Another major reason for the problems restaurant owners are facing today are the high prices of basic products, he said, adding that restaurants did not raise their prices, and therefore their losses are significant.

Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply Spokesman Yanal Al-Barmawi said that the ministry is going to look into the issue of price hikes this week and that a statement explaining the measures that will be taken may be issued soon.

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