Ten’s fate rests on office workers’ return
Owners of the Ten Café and Bar plan to reopen the eatery — but only when enough of its regular customers have returned to their city workplaces.
George Heracleous, president of Yellowfin Ltd, which owns the café on Dundonald Street, said the return of more office workers would support a wide range of businesses.
He added that business at other restaurants in the Yellowfin group was down by more than half and staffing levels had been reduced by nearly one third.
Mr Heracleous said Ten had been closed early in the year to allow the installation of a new air conditioning unit. Then the pandemic set in, causing the closure to be extended.
Mr Heracleous said: “With all the offices closed in that area, it wasn’t really viable to open it up again. We’re just going to wait and see and hopefully, we’ll be able to open it again soon.
“We rely on the 8am until 4pm trade coming from the offices around us and nobody’s in those offices.
“A lot of people are working from home and seem quite happy to continue doing that. Obviously there’s a safety issue. However, getting more people back to work will help to boost the economy, whether it’s restaurants or supermarkets, the stores in the city, or use of taxis.”
Yellowfin owns several restaurants in Hamilton, including Port O Call, Pearl, Bistro J and Ruby Murry’s, as well as the Yours Truly bar and the Astwood Arms pub.
Diners have been returning gradually to restaurants after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, following a period when they were essentially shuttered for three months.
However, Mr Heracleous said the Yellowfin restaurants were seeing business well short of normal levels and staffing was down about 30 per cent.
Mr Heracleous said: “We’re probably running at about 40 per cent of what we would have been doing six months ago, but others are in the same boat, of course.
“We’ve kept on as many employees as we can. We let pretty much all of our part-time people go. We managed to keep the majority of our full-time staff on, although on limited hours.
“We made a few redundancies with our work-permit holders and a few Bermudian bartenders — obviously we don’t have much of a bar business now.”
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