How has the nightly curfew in Jamaica impacted your restaurant or bar?
The Government’s nightly curfews were introduced with the intention of containing the spread of COVID-19. We asked restaurants and bars how the restriction has impacted their businesses.
Careem Mullings – Terrace Bar & Grill: The impact on my business has been extensive. Based on the lease agreement signed, we cannot open before 4 p.m., so that means we are unable to take advantage of lunchtime specials or daytime deliveries. It has [had] a severely negative impact... . We did not do deliveries prior to the pandemic, but started as a result of it; however, there is nothing a restaurant, lounge or bar can do within a three-hour business window.
Kevin Francis – A-Bar Restaurant & Lounge: There is no question that the curfew is definitely affecting our operations. The majority of our business comes in during the evening hours until late [at] night. In regard to our opening hours, we still open at midday but our last order is taken an hour and a half before curfew. We have had to turn back many customers because of this. However, we have introduced delivery by partnering with delivery services, and there is the option of kerbside pickup. Like many businesses, I’d love if the curfew was lifted now.
Shelley Sterling – PeppaThyme Restaurant & Bar: In the first month of COVID-19, our business was cut to 20 per cent of what we normally have, and it has picked up since then but not hugely. We don’t have a breakfast menu; it is mostly dinner and some lunch, so in that respect, the curfew hours affect us quite significantly. We have had to change how we function. That includes letting go staff, about 80 per cent of staff. We weren’t allowed to have dining, and with the restrictions of curfew hours, it doesn’t make sense to open our bar. Typically, the focus has been on deliveries and takeout and marketing more on social media, which has helped us.