“After the restaurants
were allowed to reopen, some decided to wait until better times, those that
still reopened are closing one by one.
If we compare with 2019, 50% of restaurants have closed down, “ - the vice-president of the Georgian Restaurant
Association Shota Burjanadze says.
According to Burjanadze, even
restaurant chains, which are more stable, are forced to close branches and only
40% of chain restaurants are operating now.
“Before the pandemic up
to 10,000 facilities- restaurants, bars, pastry shops, cafes- operated
in the market. We warned the government about the need to take a number
of steps without which at least half of 10,000 facilities would not have survived until the end of the
pandemic. Unfortunately, our forecasts have justified - 50% of restaurants no
longer exist, others were forced to cut the staff. The restaurant chains had to close their
branches, and only 40% of them continue operating,” he says.
In Burjanadze’s words, only 700 out of 10,000 facilities have a delivery service which will allow only a few to survive. If things
continue this way, only 2% of the total number of restaurants will survive by the end of the pandemic.
“Currently small and
medium-sized facilities are operating on the market. The second lockdown ruined
everything to the end, and if things continues this way, only 2% of restaurants
will survive, ”he explains.
Burjanadze adds that the
main problem for the business amid a pandemic is to pay rent that makes restaurants close down.
He believes many of those
who have stopped working will never return to the market even after the full
recovery of the tourism industry.