Restaurateurs: "The phone is alarming, they are tearing us apart, but we will not see the profit until next spring"
After a three-month break, cafes and restaurants are opened in Moscow. Guests are welcomed on summer verandas, asked to be in masks and gloves. The new requirements of Rospotrebnadzor and the Moscow authorities for catering in an epidemic have puzzled many restaurateurs.
To follow them means to work in the red, they are sure.
On the eve of the summer verandas opened. The rampart of starving gourmets clogging the terraces left no one indifferent. And in a week, on June 23, stationary cafes, bars and restaurants should also work. Restaurateurs are obliged to organize an “input filter” for employees (measure the temperature before allowing to shift), provide personnel with personal protective equipment, having a constant five-day supply at hand, install dispensers with antiseptics at the entrance, set tables at least 1.5 meters from each other, disinfect the premises with special agents with virucidal action, install air disinfectants in closed spaces, etc.
After calculating the costs of the purchase of PPE and the required disinfectants, representatives of small and medium-sized businesses stated: in order to comply with all the new rules, they would have to work at a loss.
On June 16, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, at a meeting with industry entrepreneurs while visiting one of the opened verandas, supported the idea of creating a single simplified taxation system for the restaurant business.
These tax changes will help restaurant and cafe owners overcome the crisis easier, said Igor Bukharov, president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia.
“Today in Moscow about 700 summer verandas of 2.5 thousand have opened. This suggests that the industry is hard to return to normal. We constantly communicate with representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Federal Tax Service, other authorities. Today, everyone understands that without comprehensive support measures, without changing the tax sphere, more than 30% of restaurants and cafes will not be able to open and continue working”, - he emphasized.
The simplification system offered by restaurateurs implies a special tax payment procedure for small and medium-sized businesses. It is necessary to make sure that within the framework of the simplified tax system, one can choose “income” (the rate in this case is 6%) or “income minus expenses” (the rate of 15%) as the object of taxation. At the same time, the staff should not exceed 100 people, and income should not be higher than 150 million rubles a year, say restaurateurs.
“About 3 million people work in our industry. Even an average restaurant needs at least 100 staff to serve 500 visitors a day. It is necessary to reconsider the approach in the allocation of state support funds. This is not only about cafes and restaurants, but also the entire catering industry. In Yaroslavl, the “Social Nutrition Plant” stopped work, which provided 100,000 children with meals. They have over 1000 employees. On formal grounds, they did not receive any help, and there are hundreds of such examples. Now many take loans to open. After all, in order to start a restaurant, you need to purchase food, check equipment, and recruit the missing staff, ”notes Bukharov.
For non-compliance with the rules of Rospotrebnadzor, businesses will not be fined. But in case of an outbreak of infection in some institution, it will be quarantined, assure the secretary of the first vice-premier Andrei Belousov.
“It is important that representatives of the inspection bodies do not overdo it and do not discourage those who are ready to fight for their business and their employees today,” notes Igor Bukharov.
Novye Izvestia talked with a representative of a chain of Georgian cuisine cafes in Moscow about the new rules of the Rospotrebnadzor and life after quarantine. For communication with the press in the institution is responsible for the already recognizable character - art director ram Tolik.
- Slowly open summer verandas. What did your first day after the apocalypse look like?
“They're tearing us apart.” The phone is on. Guests are jam-packed in all establishments. By evening, even the menu had to be stopped - they did not have time to serve.
- Some budget cafes have changed the menu. And prices floated too - in an unpleasant direction for customers.
- We did not change the prices. Everything is still.
- In a week, as promised, the whole catering will fully work in Moscow. In what condition do you approach the long-awaited discovery?
- We are trying to serve the reduced number of children to all guests. The result is predictable ... Turnover on the first day, of course, is a record. But I arrived, I am afraid, we will not see before the next spring. Colossal debts accumulated over quarantine: rents, salaries, written-off products. With different tenants, by the way, the relationship has developed in different ways. There were those who entered the situation, but there were many left who live in a fictional world where money grows from the walls. Hopefully, after the crisis, landlords will begin, if not to appreciate, then at least respect us. Credit debts, fortunately, did not arise, we work on our own money. There were almost no concessions from the state, all support, mainly in words. But a bunch of fictional difficulties were invented.
- You compared the new requirements for the cafe (which survived and plan to open after quarantine) with the fierce revenge of the authorities on restaurateurs.
“A bunch of unreasonable demands.” For example, from now on, we are obliged to pack furniture in disposable covers. And nothing that in Zara (clothing store), for example, you can try on clothes. In the metro - the same seats as ours, and do not require packing them anything. Frankly, one gets the impression that someone just wants to ditch the industry.
- What is wrong with disposable covers for sofas?
- The cafe should not look like a hospital. These requirements are, to put it mildly, strange. People sit in the subway, in a taxi - and no covers. And what did the cafe do?
- Do you foresee any obviously impracticable requirements in the new code?
- All this is in principle feasible, but entails a decrease in seats and a sharp increase in costs. No money at all! The chests are open, the ships are broken. And in order to withstand bureaucratically filling all the new magazines, you need to hire an individual.
- Visitors to masked restaurants, as required by the new rules - is there any logic in this?
“Well, I don’t know, would you be able to poke food like that?”
- For restaurateurs, two lists of rules came out - from Rospotrebnadzor and from Moscow, the requirements of the city authorities are called extremely stringent. Is it bringing local acts in line with federal requirements or something else?
- Absurdities do not want to justify. I see no rational reason for the restrictions that are now being introduced. What is happening now? Rospotrebnadzor issued requirements more or less clear. From the point of view of common sense, I do not want to comply with them, but at least it is realistically possible. What Moscow requires is a complete trash. The councils copy these Moscow recommendations and send them targeted to the cafe. From now on, it’s already especially unpleasant.
- Fulfillment of all requirements is theoretically compatible with work in plus? Did you make the preliminary calculations?
- It's not even about the money. You see, they wrote nonsense. And I don’t want to do this all for this reason. All this is nonsense. And stupidity is also ill-conceived.
- Does the legal term “recommendations” provide relief in this regard or will there be fines for non-compliance with recommendations?
- So the councils already copy and send them in the form of decrees. Therefore, fines, apparently, will be.
- The authorities say that the recommendations on organizing the work of Moscow catering in a pandemic were carefully discussed with representatives of the trade community and that the opinions of restaurateurs were "mainly taken into account." Did you participate in the discussions?
“We are not.” Tatulova participated (approx., Entrepreneur, owner of the Anderson chain of children's cafes Anastasia Tatulova). As always, the main thing we missed!
- In your opinion, can cafes and restaurants really provide the proper level of protection for their clients from the virus? The restaurant business is rapidly dying - everyone sees it, but hardly anyone wants to be guilty of serious illnesses and deaths.
- I believe that protection against the virus is excessive. The harm from restrictive measures, in my opinion, is much worse than the disease itself.
- During self-isolation, did the exhausted former guests call you? When everything is closed, but the soul asks, so to speak?
- Yes. In the early days, people did not believe that everything was really closing. They wrote us annoyed letters. Scolded that we do not pick up the phone. But they soon reconciled. There were customers of another, so to speak, variety. They called and demanded to open a cafe personally for them. Their torment, apparently, was great: their rates grew, as if by leaps and bounds - 50, 100, 140 thousand...