Will Valentine’s day bring respite to the restaurant industry?

Restaurants in Mérida are currently only open until 11:30 PM at the latest. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Restaurants in Yucatán are currently only open until 11:30 p.m. at the latest. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Restaurateurs and shop owners in Yucatán are hoping for more customers on Valentine’s Day.

Mexico’s national restaurant association has expressed hopes that the annual festivity will help boost sales and aid in the industry’s recovery.

Only time will tell if customers in Yucatán will choose to leave their homes on Feb. 14.  

Popular delivery applications such as Uber Eats and Rappi add a further wrinkle to the hopes of restaurateurs, as these digital platforms collect fees that are as high as 30%.

A greater reliance on delivery has also adversely affected restaurant employees such as waiters and greeters. In Mexico City, waiters from several well-known restaurants have been seen asking for financial help from passersby on Reforma avenue. 

“We really hope to see an increase in sales over Valentine’s Day. Things have been tough, but if we continue to work hard things will eventually turn around. We just hope things improve sooner rather than later,” said Alaka Piña Montero, co-owner of Gusto Fashion Accessories in the Altabrisa shopping mall.

Mexican brick-and-mortar retail shops have also started to feel increased pressure from online platforms such as Amazon and Mercadolibre. 

According to Forbes, from April to June of 2020, the use of online shopping applications in Mexico grew by 90%. 

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.