Swizzle: ‘it made sense to pool our resources’
The Swizzle South Shore, which shuttered yesterday, was a casualty of the economic slump left by Covid-19, business owner Jay Correia said.
It opened in 2006 on South Road, Warwick, as an offshoot of the popular Swizzle Inn near Bailey's Bay in Hamilton Parish, where Mr Correia said yesterday he would try to move as many staff as possible.
Last night, Mr Correia declined to go into staff numbers, saying they were still being discussed.
He added: “With dwindling cash reserves and large, unwavering fixed costs like rent, health insurance premiums and energy costs, it just made sense to close one and pool our resources, circle the wagons around Swizzle Inn in Bailey's Bay and do the best to make one survive.”
Returning to table service would be “a big step”, he said, as the takeout-only policy “simply does not work for most restaurants”.
Mr Correia said he has been disappointed not to be allowed to sell alcohol with takeout, which would have boosted sales, but added that he “did not wish to criticise or impugn the Government”.
“I do think significant help and collaboration from major stakeholders like landlords, banks, insurance companies and Government will be key to our survival as well.”
Mr Correia said restaurants were “keystone industries” providing work for many other businesses.
“For every restaurant that closes, that's less work for these companies, the majority of whom employ mostly Bermudians.”
He said the industry also paid significantly into the public purse.
Mr Correia said he saw many restaurateurs “on the edge of the precipice, desperate to find ways to hang on”.
He added: “We are a cash-in, cash-out industry that does not build large cash reserves, and with the high cost of doing business, it is hard to last long with little or no cash coming in.”