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Save Our Restaurants campaign launched

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Port O Call Restaurant (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The restaurant industry today appealed to the public to do their part to boost the sector.

The Chamber of Commerce has launched a Save Our Restaurants campaign designed to prevent a flood of closures of restaurants – which have seen revenues plunge by up to 80 per cent as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.

It comes after restaurant owners yesterday warned that the pandemic-hit industry was now “hanging by a thread”.

A spokeswoman for the Chamber said: “Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, local eateries have been hard hit due to fewer residents having the capacity or means to dine out.

“This, coupled with the fact that little to no tourists are visiting the island’s shores, means restaurants have seen a loss in sales between 50 per cent to 80 per cent.

“With more than 2,500 Bermudians employed in the local hospitality industry, including chefs, waiters, hostesses, bartenders and managers, there is a growing number of locals unemployed and eager to get back to work doing what they love.”

The spokeswoman added the industry was in a “state of emergency” because of the ongoing pandemic.

She said: “After a full year of restrictions curtailing operations and the overall decline in patrons, some restaurants have already had to close their doors, with others just barely getting by.

“We couldn’t sit back, do nothing and watch the island’s one-of-a-kind food service industry disappear.

“That’s why we’re launching this campaign – to encourage patrons who can afford to do so, to eat out, while also lobbying for greater relief and support from landlords, banks, insurers and Government to help us weather this storm.”

The campaign asked the public to show their support for by visiting restaurants, buying gift cards and promoting the sector on social media with the hashtag #SaveOurRestaurantsBDA.

Restaurant workers will also post their stories on social media with the same hashtag.

The Chamber has released a launch video with representatives for eight restaurants, including The White Horse and Wahoo’s in St George and Fourways Inn, Paget and the Astwood Arms in Hamilton.

The spokeswoman added that the industry was grateful for any support.

She said: “We know so many on the island are struggling at this time, but we hope together as a community we can get through this devastating crisis better and more unified than ever before.”

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Published April 27, 2021 at 3:10 pm (Updated April 27, 2021 at 3:10 pm)

Save Our Restaurants campaign launched

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