Another fast-food restaurant has closed one of its branches, less than a week after government eased restrictions on the sector.
In a notice, Joe’s Pizza Italian Restaurant posted on its Facebook page, “Please be advised that out St Augustine branch has been permanently closed. However, you can get your favourites at our Chaguanas, Diego Martin and Maraval branches. We thank you for your patronage over the years.”
On July 10, the Prime Minister announced that curbside pickup, delivery and drive-through services were to be allowed again, though in-house dining remained prohibited.
But some restaurant owners said the economic effects of the covid19 pandemic and related restrictions have forced them to close because it was too costly to continue operations.
On Monday Hakka restaurant in Woodbrook followed Mario’s Pizzeria in Chaguanas and Chaud restaurant in St Ann’s and closed its doors to the public.
Other restaurant owners like Darryl Sumir, owner of Dim Sum restaurant at Southland Plaza in San Fernando, and Passage to Asia owner Dipchand Persad said running and maintaining their restaurants without in-house dining was proving challenging. They said curbside pickup, delivery and drive-through services were not generating enough income and hoped government would reconsider its policy on the food sector or they too might have to shut down.
The sector in Tobago was also hit hard by the covid19 measures. Owner of the Seahorse Inn in Black Rock Nicholas Hardwicke said he would not be reopening at present and estimated he had suffered almost $2 million in losses during the closure.