Sixteen emblematic CEOs call for the reopening of the hospitality industry
In an Open Letter to the Authorities, leaders of well-known companies are calling for a clear plan for all cafes and restaurants in the country.
It is a rare step, which testifies to the disarray and the fed up not only of the cafes and restaurants sector, but also of their suppliers and the sector of the food industry as a whole. In Open letter to governments and experts, 16 CEOs of emblematic Belgian companies of these sectors ask clarity on the catering industry. Their duly motivated request is addressed to the members of the consultation committee which will meet on March 26. Among the signatories are the CEO of Spadel Marc du Bois, that of the Duvel brewery Michel Moortgat, that of the Raffinerie Tirlemontoise Guy Paternoster or even Annick van Overstraeten (Le Pain Quotidien), Frédéric Rurez (Exki), Guido Vanherpe (La Lorraine) , …
“Maybe” is not a plan
These business leaders above all require certainties. To say that the hospitality industry can “maybe” reopen on May 1st is not an option, in their eyes. The 61,000 entrepreneurs and 140,000 hospitality workers suffer the consequences of the closure of their establishments for 194 days. The losses amount to billions of euros. Their first request is therefore that the authorities unambiguously announce that the restaurant sector will be able to reopen on May 1 at the latest.
“The catering industry cannot be considered as the” joker “of a policy of returning to normality …”
Reopen the terraces from April 1
According to them, a plan to reopen the sector in stages will give more likely to comply with health rules than an outright ban. Because with the return of good weather and the extension of the outer “bubble”, we must not be naive: citizens will organize their own aperitifs, they argue.
The CEOs therefore propose to leave tenants the freedom to open their terraces in complete safety from April 1, while retaining the support measures that concern them.
“Because in terms of aid too, it is the logic of ‘all or nothing’ that takes precedence today, write the CEOs. Either you receive support, or you work. no option but to accept a postponement. There is no middle ground here. “
Codeco could be advanced
“Given the evolution of the health situation, the eases planned for April are clearly uncertain“, was also indicated in the entourage of Alexander De Croo.