Maltese restaurants desperately need more state aid to make it through the winter, a leading industry lobbyist has warned.
Matthew Pace, secretary of the Association of Catering Establishments, urged the government to provide them with the rent and electricity subsidies they had applied for months ago and to increase the wage supplement for restaurant workers from €600 to €800, which would put them on par with hotels.
He also said the wage supplement should be extended to restaurant employees hired after 9th March to replace those who left after that cutoff date.
“Catering establishments have a relatively high rate of staff turnover because it’s a very demanding sector, and while people are enjoying themselves we’re working hard,” he said.
“The fact that we had some employees who were receiving a wage supplement before but their replacements haven’t has hit our cashflow.”
“I heard through the grapevine that the government plans to implement this imminently and I believe it, but the sooner it happens the more we can survive through this very tough ordeal.”
Pace warned the situation for restaurants is way worse now than it was last summer, when people tend to eat out more frequently and when the public desire to do so was boosted by a voucher scheme.
“We got away with it throughout the summer months but it’s really hitting us hard now,” he said.
What do you make of the lobbyist’s warning?