THOSE hoping to dine at TGI Fridays come Monday will have to wait another week said Simon Hardy, CEO of Prestige Holdings, the food chain’s franchise holder.
Speaking with Newsday on Friday, Hardy said he planned for TGI Fridays, at its four locations, will be the first of the group's franchises to restart in-house dining. Prestige Holdings is the local franchise holder for KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and TGI Friday restaurants.
Hardy said the extra week will be used to retrain staff.
“TGI Fridays will not survive without dine-in. It is a critical part of their business that is what the focus is to get TGI compliant. It is hardly likely that they will be ready by Monday so we are looking at the 18th.”
The other stores will open for dine-in on a phased basis he said, as not all staff members at the other restaurants are fully vaccinated. He added that as the workers become fully vaccinated, the various outlets will allow dine-in in keeping with the safe-zones mandate.
Hardy said there was some vaccine hesitancy but doctors were brought in to speak with employees with concerns.
On Monday under the safe-zone concept, businesses including restaurants, bars, gyms, water parks, cinemas and casinos will be allowed to open only to vaccinated customers. Workers on the compound must be fully vaccinated and each business can only operate at 50 per cent capacity.
Any unvaccinated person found on the premises could cost the owner a fine of $25,000. An unvaccinated patron caught in a safe zone faces a $5,000 fine. Anyone found guilty of producing fake documents will be charged with fraud and treated with as the law allows. Safe zones will be inspected by public health officers and police.
Anthony Sabga-Aboud, director of Global Brands said none of his restaurants would be opened for dine-in on Monday. Global Brands are the owners of the Rituals and Pizza Boys chains and franchisee of Church’s Chicken.
He spoke with Newsday on Thursday and said management were working opening certain stores starting with Rituals locations. On Friday Sabga-Aboud said no decision was taken on which branch of Rituals would kick off its safe zones and the other restaurants were still working out the logistics of having dine-in.
Sabga-Aboud also said there was some degree of vaccine hesitancy among workers.