South food workers expect more slow sales: 'People have no money'

Some food stalls remained closed at Gulf City Mall, San Fernando.  - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
Some food stalls remained closed at Gulf City Mall, San Fernando. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

A week after food outlets were allowed to reopen for delivery, takeout and curbside pickup services, staff at food courts at C3 Centre and Gulf City Mall say sales continue to be very slow.

They say they expect this trend to continue for a while, as: "People are not working so people have no money."

Last week, food establishments in north and south Trinidad reported slow sales.

When Newsday visited the usually busy food court at C3 Centre, Corinth, it was almost a ghost town.

One worker joked, "We can probably form a cricket team with workers from the different restaurants."

This family purchased their food items at the Urban Curry Cafe at Gulf City Mall in San Fernando. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Workers at Greek Express said sales were better than last week, but still very slow.

One worker, who prefered not to be named, said, "This is the worst spell I've seen since probably 1981.

"Remember, the rest of the mall is closed, so it's not like people are shopping around. And even then, people are not coming out, because they don't have money.

"More people (customers) have been taking advantage of deals and combos...people are not spending like they used to, because they don't have it."

Two employees at Red Peppers said they are grateful to be back out to work and earn some money. But the current rate of sales is at a low they've never seen in all their years of working there. They too, however, said it was a bit better than last week.

Workers at D Ranch said they're not sure when sales will pick back up.

One said, "Plenty people aren't working, so people are mostly spending money on groceries, if they have to spend."

A few restaurants at the food court had not reopened.

Customers wait in line as they wait to purchase their lunch at Royal Castle at the C3 Centre in San Fernando. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

At Gulf City Mall, things were not very different, with many outlets still closed.

An employee at Urban Curry Cafe said there are "a bunch of reasons" why sales are slow.

"People don't have money, people are prioritising and buying necessary grocery items. The weather has a part to play, as well.

"But I think once they open back retail, we will see a difference. So somebody might grab a bite here, but also buy something from a store downstairs. Things like that."

There were no lines at any of the outlets, including KFC, Royal Castle and Church's Chicken.

Customers wait in line as they wait to purchase their lunch at D Ranch at the C3 Centre in San Fernando. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

At Pita Pit, workers said the time away from work had been very tough and they're glad to finally be able to earn once again, but sales continue to be slow.

They're not sure when they will see a turnaround.

One said, "Maybe when the whole mall opens back up."

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