Restaurants in the time of corona

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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Everything you need to know before restaurants reopen their doors June 1st

In a recent press conference, Prime Minister Mark Rutte laid out some of the new rules and restrictions for the gradual reopening of gastronomical establishments in the Netherlands. 

At noon on Monday, June 1st, restaurants will be reopening and operating with new measures all around the country. However, it still remains unclear what exactly this new age will look like.

Here, we’ll explain some of the restrictions in place and how it will all pan out.

Reservation Only

Until further notice, a restaurant experience will require reservation. Some businesses have added available methods for booking, and most list on their website how one can reserve a table.

It may also be possible to reserve in person, meaning that you can walk in and reserve a table on the spot (if space allows).

Upon entry, customers will have to pass a sort of entry test, confirming that they aren’t experiencing any symptoms associated with coronavirus. 

Restaurants are starting to publish their specific rules, like Jozef Eten & Drinken. Their children’s area is closed for the time being and they are open to customers with certain time frames, not unlike the many other restaurants who are creating specific time frames to make it easier to manage the amount of people in the building.

Keeping Distance

The requirement of 1,5 meter distancing will stand. This restriction will not apply to individuals of the same household. If there are two parties from different households, they will have to have a 1,5 meter distance between them at the table. At a table with three individuals (for example, two from one household and one from another) there may be checks from local security to examine the situation.

Restaurant operators will also have to respect another rule laid out by the government- that one establishment will only be allowed to hold 30 individuals (not including staff). For some small businesses, this means they may not be able to open their doors at all.

How will businesses stay afloat?

The new rules and capacity restrictions will be a handicap for some businesses. With only 30 guests allowed in one location, most restaurants will lay on either side of two extremes: either being too small to open under such restrictions, or being so large that operating at such low capacity will involve too high of costs.

Robèr Willemsen, the chairman of Koniklijke Horeca Nederland (the nation’s leading horeca association), has been busy in negotiations with national leaders about an urgently needed support package for gastronomical businesses. 

In order for this slow reopening to roll out smoothly, KHN has laid out plans for employee compensation and rent subsidies that will be necessary for many establishments to stay afloat. 

Whatever the status is on these financial packages, it looks like the slow-open will be going ahead on June 1st. Only then will we see if this new “normal” is really sustainable.

Sources:

RIVM

KHN

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Flora Lehmann

Flora Lehmann

Flora Lehmann is a German-American student. She has been living in the Netherlands for the last four years and recently moved to Utrecht to study Literature. She aspires to consult and report about relevant news and ideas in media. Flora has a background in economics and enjoys discussing business and growth methods. She has a keen literary mind and writes in her spare time.

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