75% of Middle East restaurateurs could permanently close outlets

Current coronavirus restrictions are making profitability impossible for many

Many restaurateurs expect to close outlets permanently
Many restaurateurs expect to close outlets permanently

The upcoming sister publication Caterer Middle East survey of restaurateurs on the effects of Covid-19 has revealed that 75% expect to permanently close outlets if the current restrictions continue for more than three months.

With around 100 F&B operators responding, the survey highlighted the severe effects that social distancing and new dine-in regulations are having on restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic.

One respondent from Saudi Arabia said they had already permanently closed one location, while many other restaurateurs said that unless they get significant help from their landlords soon, many more outlets could be set to follow, with non-performing venues no longer getting the leeway to recover that they once had.

With 70% of those polled saying they don’t expect their business to return to pre-Covid-19 levels before 2021, and a further 25% saying it won’t happen until 2022, the Middle East’s F&B industry could be in line for a cataclysmic shock.

Gates Hospitality founder and chief executive Naim Maadad told Caterer Middle East last week that he expected 50% of F&B outlets in Dubai to never operate again, but things could be even worse than he predicted.

The UAE had been loosening its lockdown restrictions recently but this week re-imposed an 8pm until 6am curfew.

You can see the full results of the survey in the June issue of Caterer Middle East.

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