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Restaurants see little gain from opening doors over the weekend

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After getting what they wanted — the right to open their doors on weekends — the head of the local restaurant guild said it did little to help business.

With Yucatan still in the first-wave of its economic reopening, restaurants went from five to seven days of table service. Dining rooms are still limited to 25% capacity.

But diners had little time to react to the change, which was announced Thursday night, said the state president of the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac), Roberto G. Cantón. Summer also means many diners are staying at their beach homes, he said.

“For the restaurants that are in the center of Merida and other tourist areas it has been even more complicated, because tourism is scarce today,” he told Sipse.

He expressed faith, however, that customers will gradually return to restaurants.

“We are confident that the revival will bring us closer to full recovery every day. With the opening of the dining rooms over the weekend, we took a great step that places us in a more favorable condition to take greater advantage of our spaces,” he said.

Olga Moguel, the owner of Restaurante Amaro, said sales increased by just 2% after opening Saturday and Sunday. She blamed little public awareness, fear of coronavirus and economic distress.

Only until restaurants are allowed to seat customers at 50% capacity and stay open past 10 p.m. will owners feel a difference, Moguel said. She too is waiting for 50% seating to be allowed.

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