From 1 May takeaway outlets and sit-down restaurants will be permitted for food deliveries between
9h00 and 20h00, but Ocean Basket won’t open their doors as yet.
Grace Harding, Ocean Basket CEO said that opening the chain’s restaurants for deliveries alone won’t make financial sense
and the curfews during level 4 also presented a challenge.
Deliveries will offer some financial relief, it may not be enough to cover the operating costs of re-opening larger establishments.
The cost of delivery is also high, with Uber Eats asking outlets up to 30% commission on each meal ordered on its platform.
Harding said Ocean Basket would reconsider opening again if customers could collect takeaways themselves, but in currents drafts this
will only happen once the country reaches level 2.
“We are desperate to re-open. Ocean basket has been left with no income.”
Only at Level 1 will sit-down restaurants be permitted to host customers again. Just before the lockdown occurred in March,
restaurants were restricted to no more than 50 customers and alcohol not to be sold after 18h00.
If those restrictions from part of Level 1 as in March, Harding says she is comfortable with reopening Ocean Basket.
She said that alcohol as a percentage of sales were not that crucial for the group and they could survive even if only 30 people were allowed in at a time.
Harding is very concerned about the waiters who worked at the chain, and said permanent employees have used their own money
to start a fund to help these workers financially.
Regarding Landlords, Harding expects to pay them a percentage of sales as rent when Ocean Basket re-opens.
The Property Industry Group, which represents South Africa’s largest mall owners, announced that restaurants won’t have to pay any rent in April,
with discounts of 55% in May and 45% in June.
Source: Business Insider
Photo Credit: Ocean Basket