Hours for public catering are reduced // Restaurants in Moscow are again restricted from working

Moscow authorities again restrict the work of catering due to the increase in the incidence of COVID-19. Cafes, bars, nightclubs and restaurants are allowed to serve visitors in the hall from 6:00 to 23:00, and food courts are suspended. While the measures are valid until June 20. Nightclub managers are preparing for a 30-50% drop in revenue.

On Saturday, Moscow Mayor Sergei introduced a new package of restrictions due to the increase in the incidence of COVID-19. Among other things, he banned the operation of catering outlets at the food courts of shopping centers, and also limited the work of cafes, restaurants, bars and nightlife on the same dates from 23:00 to 06:00. Takeaway work is permitted. The measures were introduced for the period 13–20 June.

By the current moment, traffic in shopping centers has almost completely recovered, and the closure of food courts is unlikely to significantly reduce attendance, Managing Partner of Vanchugov & Partners Alexey Vanchugov is sure. “In fact, legal uncertainty is again created, and the catering segment again finds itself in a limbo – they will again have to enter into unequal negotiations with landlords. In conditions of high debt load, a precedent of industrial conflict in the industry is again being created, ”notes Alexey Vanchugov.

Moscow parks and game rooms are under lockdown

However, the algorithm of actions in conditions of restrictions has already been worked out, says Mikhail Goncharov, co-owner of the Teremok chain. He plans to negotiate rental vacations in those locations whose work will be limited by the mayor’s decree. At the same time, almost all establishments will continue to serve delivery. McDonald’s said that the decree will affect more than 60 chain establishments, which, if possible, will continue to operate takeaway and delivery. At night, the halls will also be closed, the company clarifies; establishments will also continue to operate takeaway and delivery where possible. The employees of the closed enterprises are planned to be redistributed to other points.

This is not the first precedent when, due to the threat of the spread of COVID-19, the Moscow authorities are introducing a ban on nightlife in the city. Last time, restrictions on work from 23:00 to 6:00 were in effect from November 13, 2020 to January 27, 2021. This led to the fact that a number of nightlife establishments suspended their work at this time, and restaurateurs noted a drop in revenue by 20-30%, depending on the day of the week. And the turnover of Moscow pubs and bars during the ban then decreased by 25%, analysts at Tinkoff CoronaIndex estimated.

Nikita Shchurenkov on attempts by business to weaken the fight against COVID-19

Nikita Shchurenkov on attempts by business to weaken the fight against COVID-19

According to the manager of the Lookin Rooms club and the Disco 90 bar Alexander Kaplatsky, the establishments have not yet moved away from the previous restrictions – not all have received rental preferences, many were able to agree only on a postponement, and a new round of restrictions will only aggravate the situation. At nightclubs, the schedule of events is being worked out for a month or two in advance, says District27 club manager David Avtandilov, now it will have to be rebuilt. On the other hand, he continues, both the club’s staff and the promo teams understand how to act in conditions of restrictions, and the planned events will be held at the allowed time. However, in any case, the expected decline in revenue will be at least 30-50%, he states.

All market participants interviewed by Kommersant reported that they recommend their employees to get vaccinated, however, they insist, health is everyone’s personal business.

Previously, restaurateurs suggested that the Moscow authorities introduce special payments for employees who were vaccinated, among the ideas were the introduction of special badges and the ability for employees who received the vaccine to work without masks and gloves.

According to a Kommersant source from among the operators of shopping centers, the authorities of the Moscow region are also planning to introduce restrictions. “However, they are ready to communicate, they need clear proposals, what we are ready for. They stake on the fact that the majority of employees should be vaccinated, ”he says.

Nikita Shchurenkov, Alexandra Mertsalova

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