Temperatures soaring to 30 degrees, cloudless skies, terraces at full capacity and a Thursday afternoon in Eindhoven centre. Usually this would be cause for a large smile on all restaurant owner’s faces. Despite re-opening two months ago, the hospitality industry still has to comply to strict anti-corona virus measures.
Waitresses working at cafe’s situated on the Markt square can hardly keep up with demand from customers for cool drinks. All seats are occupied but that does not mean reason to celebrate just yet. “We can’t fill a third of the usual capacity,” remarked co-owner of Wildeman, Marijn. “2020 has been a lost year. Nothing will change in the coming months.” Employee of the Belgische Biercafé, Roland van de Gevel, added to this: “June went well, but due to the holidays the number of patrons has declined. As long as we have to adhere to these rules, it will remain a challenge. The question isn’t only if we will make it financially but also if we want to continue this way.”
Sticking to rules
The rules have also forced owners in the hospitality industry to police their own premises. Marijn: “We’ve noticed many people are tired of the corona virus and having to maintain distance. We have to remind them time and time again. Especially later in the evening, when they have had a lot to drink it isn’t possible anymore.” Van de Gevel: “80 per cent of the time we’re busy reigning people in. The Eindhoven Municipality has been checking up on us. Luckily it hasn’t lead to any fines yet.”
Everyone out and about this Thursday will want to grab a cappuccino or beer on a terrace. For safety reasons, the elderly will seek out tables on the outskirts of the terraces. “It’s clear to see that people are not maintaining adequate distance anymore.” remarked a lady concerned. “We won’t take a seat everywhere. I’m willing to give places that are not too busy and sheltered a try.”
Translator: Ame Harris